PRESS RELEASE

MANCHESTER GETS A DIGITAL BOOST WITH NEW ARTS CENTRE

Virgin Media Business and HOME partnership to support small businesses and job creation

Virgin Media Business has announced that it’s supporting HOME, Manchester’s new centre for international contemporary visual art, theatre and film. The telecoms provider will supply high capacity connectivity for the purpose built centre, when it fully opens in May.

The centre will house five cinemas, two theatre spaces, and 500m2 of gallery space and includes director Danny Boyle as one of its patrons.  It has been made possible through the financial backing and support of Manchester City Council and the Arts Council through its Lottery funding, to provide a hub for the creative industries and an exciting new social space for Manchester.  

HOME's programme has a strong focus on the creative industries, nurturing talent and helping digital entrepreneurs and specialists to develop their networks and skills, supported through the Virgin Media Business sponsorship. HOME is the cultural heart of the £500m First Street regeneration project off Whitworth Street West in Manchester City Centre. The 20 acre development is being brought forward by Ask Property Developments, Manchester City Council’s development partner for the project. It will act as a magnet for investment and is estimated to create 11,000 jobs. 

The sponsorship complements Virgin Media Business’ support for start-ups, which has included the introduction of broadband services specifically designed for growing businesses, and the creation of free, online resources to help entrepreneurs make the most of the opportunities created by the digital world.  

As the centre’s official technology partner, Virgin Media Business will also provide free Wi-Fi throughout HOME for the half-a-million visitors expected each year. The technology which brings HOME to life includes unified communications and high capacity connectivity solutions to deliver the services needed for a project of this scale. 

Manchester has long been recognised as a pioneer in embracing and exploiting digital and is fast becoming one of the UK’s leading technology hubs. HOME will further encourage development in this area and accelerate growth of this technology cluster.

Duncan Higgins, Marketing Director at Virgin Media Business, said: “Manchester is fast becoming one of the UK’s leading technology hubs and projects such as this demonstrate how digital is key to the continued success of all businesses. We’re very excited by the potential of HOME and are proud to be involved.” 

Marla Cunningham, Development Director at HOME, said “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Virgin Media Business. HOME, will be a significant addition to the UK’s cultural offer. We’re excited about the potential of that Virgin’s technology can help us unlock- their significant support will help us to create a truly brilliant experience for our audiences.”  

Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Manchester City Council:
 “HOME is set to become an essential part of Manchester's cultural offer and will strengthen our position as a leading digital city on both a national and international level.”

HOME was formed from the merger of two of Manchester’s best-loved cultural organisations, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company, and will inherit and build upon their artistic legacies. Virgin Media Business will support HOME Digital, a programme where digital meets art, theatre, film and much more and the wider development of HOME over the next three years.

“HOME is set to become an essential part of Manchester's cultural offer and will strengthen our position as a leading digital city on both a national and international level.”

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