Manchester Central is one of the UK's most iconic and popular venues and the redevelopment has centered on creating new and extended foyer areas to the iconic Grade ll listed Central Hall. The redevelopment is allied to infrastructure improvements to provide further cohesion to the venue's facilities, adding value to clients and to the venue's appeal as one of the UK's major convention and exhibition complexes. Key to the Central Hall space development was the implementation of infrastructure in-house to facilitate the staging of conference and gala functions.
The rigging package, which was project managed and installed by Alternative Access Limited, consists of over 240m of Litestructures LitePro520 primary trusses, orientated in 6 longitudinal runs down the hall space. These runs can be operated independently for local rigging, or joined laterally using LitePro290-4HD spreader beams, to create a versatile rigging grid. Litestructures worked with Lift Turn Move (LTM) to specify a hoist system, with the aim of minimizing working at height within the Central Hall. Utilising 54 LTM Loadguard 1000kg BS7906/1/a hoists gives the facility to move the grid to a number of positions within the hall, without the need for secondary restraint when rigged. The control system utilizes IBEX positional control, integrated load monitoring on all hoist locations, to create a reliable user interface to embrace the many and varied requirements of users of Manchester Central. Cabling and mounting infrastructure was installed throughout by Alternative Access, utilising a combination of IRATA abseiling and powered access machinery, in direct liaison with the venue management and electrical contractors.
Manchester Central also required a turn-key staging system, to facilitate every configuration from performance staging, to exhibition areas, to staging rostra. Litestructures LiteDeck fitted the bill perfectly, and through consultation with the venue and events teams, a complete package of 368 LiteDeck, with leg frame, step unit and handrail systems was specified. The modular design and lightweight yet robust construction, ensures that a fast and versatile staging solution will be an offer at Manchester Central for years to come.
Following the tender procedures and extensive design consultation, the manufacture and installation of the systems was completed in a period of just 8 weeks. Handover of the systems is scheduled for September 2009, with complete user documentation, aimed specifically at ensuring safe and productive use of this cutting edge venue infrastructure, now and in the future.