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    Early Coldplay Manchester Venue To Get £2.2m Makeover

    One of Manchester's most popular gig venues is to have a £2.2m makeover.


    Big names from Oasis to Coldplay, David Bowie and Kylie are among the artists to have performed at The Academy on Oxford Road since it opened 17 years ago.


    Owned and run by Manchester Students' Union, the venue is a favourite with performers and students alike as a capacity crowd of 1,500 people can generate one of the best atmospheres in the city.

    The building will close in the summer for refurbishment, opening again in September.


    Work includes a new front with a 36ft-high multi-coloured glazed tower, a new lobby, cloakroom, toilets, ticket office and bar.


    Union spokesman Rob Owen says they are keen to retain its atmosphere. He said: "This is about improving the quality of the venue.


    "We need to make it more accessible for disabled customers and performers and improve the standard of facilities. We've been open for almost two decades and in that time what is expected of a top class venue has changed, so we need some refurbishment work.


    "We want to bring the facilities up to the standard you find in London venues, keeping The Academy's atmosphere. It's essentially just a shed with a great atmosphere."


    The building opened its doors in 1990 with a gig headlined by the Buzzcocks and now hosts about 50 concerts a year.


    The new multi-coloured tower will be illuminated at night.


    David Britch, of architects Britch, said: "We have tried to build on the success of the venue by redesigning elements that were weak in the original design, including the entrance, disabled facilities, toilets and bars.


    "But we wanted to retain the feeling of the original large, robust concert hall."


    Source: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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