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THE LOWRY’S YOUNG THEATRE MAKERS DEBUT PERFORMANCE AT EQ

Young theatre makers from The Lowry in Salford will showcase their debut performance about life in an office at Exchange Quay, one of the North West’s largest office developments from May 15-17. The group of teenagers has created Bright Futures, a bold, innovative and immersive piece designed to be performed in non-theatre space.

The teen theatre makers present their first performance as The Offstage Ensemble in collaboration with nationally renowned theatre company, Dante or Die. 17 young people aged 13-19 who devised, wrote, designed, produced and directed the site responsive piece will transform an unused floor in the ICE building at Exchange Quay into an original landscape to put on their show.

Created as part of The Lowry’s new Learning and Engagement Pathway, the 45 minute show features a junior sales team from ‘Instagram perfect’ holiday company, Bright Futures, preparing for performance review day. It immerses the audience in the wannabee executives’ panicky, primal, perfect-scoring power hour and how they interact.

The Lowry offers young people aged 11-25 from across Greater Manchester the opportunity to get creative in a range of ways through dance, drama, visual arts, technical theatre, producing and directing.

This new pathway is offered free to young people to make inventive theatre in more challenging ways by reacting to the performance venue space – in this case an office – and breaking down barriers to access groups of this nature. The pathway was piloted with groups taking part in taster workshops before official launch this year.

Stephanie Green, Youth Arts Manager, The Lowry commented:
“We are delighted to be able to access such fantastic office space at Exchange Quay for our young theatre makers’ debut performance which is right on our doorstep in Salford. The group has worked incredibly hard to produce this immersive piece, which will involve the audience walking around the performance. We hope workers at the office development will enjoy the show, as well as the general public who can also buy tickets to come along.”

Jeremy Birkett-Jones, Director, Hunter said:
“We kickstarted our Place Activation and Events programme last month to engage with our occupiers and the local community. We are delighted to work with The Lowry to host the debut performance of Bright Futures in our new ICE building which provides the young theatre makers with perfect space to showcase their production.

Exchange Quay has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment and transformation programme in recent years by Ekistics Property Advisors LLP (Ekistics) on behalf of the owner alongside asset manager Hunters. The development offers more than 435,000 sq ft of Grade A office space over seven buildings and has recently unveiled ICE – renovating an additional 26,000 sq ft of newly refurbished high quality offices and a café lounge to enhance its existing occupier offer to create a cohesive and collaborative working community.

Tickets cost £5 and there are two shows per night from 15-17 May. Visit the link here for more information on the show.

EXCHANGE QUAY SUPPORTS THE FIGHT AGAINST HOMELESSNESS IN SALFORD WITH CHARITY LINK UP

Homeless and socially vulnerable people across Salford are set to get support from one of the North West’s largest office developments. Exchange Quay, the 435,000 sq ft office development in Salford Quays, has selected Emmaus Salford as its chosen Charity Partner this year as part of its Place Activation and community engagement strategy.

In operation for 5 years, Emmaus Salford is a social enterprise providing more than just a bed for the night to people who have experienced homeless and social exclusion.  Part of a wider movement, there are currently 29 Emmaus communities across the UK (300+ worldwide), providing a home and meaningful work to more than 800 formerly homeless people. The charity was established in 1949 in Paris by French Priest, George Le Gay who wanted to find a solution to homelessness after the WW2 bombings.

The Emmaus Salford residential community supports 20 companions from all walks of life who find themselves homeless or in helpless situations. Companions have to work to help themselves and can stay as long as they want, living and working with the charity. The charity looks to help them obtain the confidence and skills to live independently.

The team at Exchange Quay sought to put the spotlight on the rise of homeless people on the streets of Salford and wider Manchester and to support Emmaus Salford in a meaningful way by fundraising for local projects to help those most in need.

Funds raised and donated to the charity will be aimed at further developing existing projects run by Emmaus, including Lucie’s Pantry, a social supermarket with plans to open a small café/meeting space for customers to access. The charity also aims to launch George’s Community Fridge, an initiative which uses short dated or just out of date foodstuffs from local collaborators and funds will help with set up costs. Finally, the charity wants to take resident Companions on a weekend or week team building adventure break to a centre in North Wales to help with motivation, aspiration and self-esteem.

Exchange Quay plans to set up a series of fundraising events throughout the year to add to the coffers of the charity, including a Mother’s Day florist on site, where 3,000 workers were able to buy discounted flowers for their mums with 10% of sales donated to Emmaus. Teams at the development will also be taking part in the Manchester 10K to support the charity.

Simon Locke, Emmaus said:

“We are very excited to be working with the team at Exchange Quay. Support from local partners is paramount to help us continue our work with homeless and socially vulnerable people in the local area.”

Rune Randrup-Thomsen, Director at Ekistics Property Advisors LLP and responsible for Exchange Quay commented:

“Emmaus Salford is an incredible social enterprise with some outstanding initiatives planned this year to support those in need in our local communities. We are delighted to get on board with the charity and look forward to raising money to develop these schemes which will really make a difference to local people who find themselves homeless or socially excluded. Ultimately, it’s about saving lives and we hope that we and the Exchange Quay community can help with this rising issue in our region.”

Exchange Quay has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment and transformation programme in recent years by Ekistics Property Advisors LLP (Ekistics) on behalf of the owner alongside asset manager Hunters. The development offers more than 435,000 sq ft of Grade A office space over seven buildings and has recently unveiled ICE – renovating an additional 26,000 sq ft of newly refurbished high quality offices and a café lounge to enhance its existing occupier offer to create a cohesive and collaborative working community.