We have the pleasure of  introducing you to Manchester’s newest venue Hope Mill Theatre. Situated in the Grade II listed Hope Mill – a former cotton mill, in the heart of the city of Manchester. This 5 storey mill is home to a number of creative’s studios including writers, artists and designers and now home to Hope Mill Theatre, a 120 seat fringe venue and events space, with the Engine Room Café and Bar. We had a lovely morning chatting to owners Will and Joe to find out more about how they found the venue, and what the future holds for, what I believe, will be the next biggest wedding venue in town……

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Tell us about your journey finding this rather special historical venue, was it love at first sight?
“We had been looking at venues for some time and just couldn’t seem to find a space that we felt could be completely multi-functional as a theatre and events space. We wanted a space that had heaps of character but could allow for a large theatre/events space but also separate bar/café area. When we viewed Hope Mill we instantly knew it was the place for us. From the moment you arrive outside the Grade II listed mill and walk through the original large double doors – it feels like you’ve arrived somewhere very special. We were speechless at the amount of character and history that the space has and being over 4,500 sq ft it was the ideal space, as there was no limit to how the space could be used. It has been described as a “hidden gem” and we loved the idea that this incredible venue appears from nowhere.”

What can Hope Mill Theatre offer our city brides?
“We are a completely unique, versatile space in the heart of the city – close to Piccadilly Station and 5 min walk from New Islington Metro. The large open space allows for numbers up to 200+ but still has a cosy, intimate feel for smaller weddings. The space has so much character that it can be minimally dressed for couples on a budget but still keeps that wow factor and alternatively the large event space with original wooden beams can become whatever the mind allows. For couples looking for a venue that has heaps of Mancunian charm and character and a blank canvas to make their special day personal to them then Hope Mill Theatre is the venue.”

You describe it as “Industrial Glam” which I thought was a fitting description. Which wedding icons old or new inspire you?
“As mentioned before the venue really speaks for itself and the historical aspect of this former Cotton Mill almost could be left as is. However, it was important to us that we introduced more of an atmosphere, in order for it to not feel to vast and empty. A lot of our furniture and ornaments have been very carefully chosen to fit with the space and the look that we wanted to achieve. We loved the idea of having a large industrial space but introducing an expensive, glamorous feel as both décors really go well together. Being situated in a large Mill you wouldn’t tend to associate it with the words “cosy” and “homely” but that is what a lot of people who visit say – so I think we’ve also managed to create a welcoming atmosphere.”

Have you any plans for developing the venue in the future?
At the moment we don’t have on sight catering facilities – although we can facilitate for equipment coming on sight and caterers setting up their own kitchen etc. A lot of our couples also like to offer quirky food vans, which we can set up outside our front doors underneath a canopy of white bulbs – which creates a great feel. The future plans are to have a prep kitchen on sight to be able to allow more versatility for caterers as well as offering our own menu of canapés. We also have an outside area at the back of the Mill which looks on to the canal which in the summer we hope to open to create an outside terrace/ beer garden style space. We have also had a few couples enquiring about a marriage licence and having the ceremony at the venue and this is something we are currently looking in to.”

Congratulations on your engagement, its a really exciting time for you both at the moment. What are your top 3 tips on planning a city wedding?
“Thank you. It has been a crazy year with getting engaged and then opening the venue – but it has also been extremely exciting! We have been so busy meeting with couples regarding their weddings our plans have gone on the back burner, but of course we will be having our reception at Hope Mill Theatre. My top 3 tips for planning a city wedding would be:
1- Explore this amazing city before choosing a venue – there are so many unique and beautiful spaces in Manchester that you may not even know exist. But make sure you book venues in plenty of time as you don’t want to miss out!
2- Source independent, up and coming suppliers. Again, there are a lot of current, new suppliers operating in the city that are offering great services. From Florists to Bakers – take the time to look at the unknowns but always do your research.
3- Don’t be afraid to take risks and be creative – your wedding day is “your day” and there are no wrongs as long as it’s what you love as a couple then you can’t go wrong! ”

Images from the venue.

Hope Mill Theatre

 

Hope Mill Theatre

 

Hope Mill Theatre

 

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Don’t forget their showcase dates and events :

26th Jan – Wedding showcase.
11th Feb – Wedding networking group.
16th April – Wedding Showcase.