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Simon Mellor appointed project director for Manchester’s the Factory

Simon Mellor will combine his new role with his job at Arts Council England. Photo: Philippa Gedge Simon Mellor will combine his new role with his job at Arts Council England. Photo: Philippa Gedge
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Arts Council England executive director of arts and culture Simon Mellor has been named project director for Manchester’s new £78m theatre the Factory.

Mellor, who has previously worked at Manchester International Festival and the Lyric Hammersmith, will continue in his ACE role, but will be released for two days each week to lead the next phase of work on the theatre. He will report to Manchester City Council, ahead of a chief executive being appointed next year.

While at ACE, Mellor will not take part in decisions about the Factory or related projects. Mellor said he was grateful the Arts Council was allowing him to take on the second role, adding: “The ebb and flow of people between the arts and culture sector and the Arts Council is something I’ve always thought important. I’m looking forward to using the knowledge I gained during my time at the Lyric Hammersmith, MIF and ACE to work with partners in the City [of London] to develop this exciting project to its next stage.”

Manchester City Council leader Richard Leese welcomed Mellor’s appointment, and claimed the Factory “will play an exciting role in supporting Manchester and the north’s potential to act as a cultural and economic counterbalance to London”. ACE has now started looking for a part-time executive director of arts and culture.

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