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Written by Luke Bull
January 18, 2023
Our favourite venues in Manchester
Manchester is no stranger to great venues. The city that brought us The Hacienda, Salford Lads Club and Sankeys seems to possess some intangible ability to produce iconic spaces.
From industrial spaces reclaimed by the gorging foodies of Ancoats, to vast warehouses taken over by shuffling, wide eyed students, no square foot is safe from Manchester's urge to create something new.
When it comes to hiring out these great venues, it can often feel like an uphill struggle. Telephone calls, email threads pre-empt full schedules and 'sorry we're closed' signs. Be smart about it – let someone else do the hard work for you. Hey, we're someone else!
Here's a list of cool spots in Manchester.
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1. Hire out your own brewery in Manchester: Alphabet Brewing Comapny
A far cry from the beige pubs of yore, Alphabet Brewing Company provides a unique opportunity to hold an exclusive event in a locally-centred brewery within walking distance of Piccadilly. The taproom has benefitted from branding illustrated by local street art legend and friend of the brewery, Hammo, who has made a name for himself across Manchester with zeitgeisty murals dotted around the city.
Unfilter, un-pasteurised beers make up the body of drinks available in the space, with enough variety in the pints to please even the pickiest of drinkers
In terms of hireable space, Alphabet offer a mostly outside venue (sheltered, mercifully from the ever-present Mancunian rain), capacity stretches to 300 guests, with a variety of setups. A unique twist can be found in the brewery tour and experienced history of corporate events, festivals and birthdays.
2. A Grade II listed venue in Manchester: Thomas's Chop House
Okay, so you're going to see a lot of buildings with a Grade II listing on this list. It seems that you can't walk for ten minutes in the rainy city without an officially beautiful™ building springing from the ground.
That said, Thomas' Chop House is especially noteworthy. The converted 1870 pub muddles a cast iron framed building with terracotta block Art Noyveay motifs throughout. Not places do that, huh?
The ensuing interior is something between a turn of the century train station waiting room and a steak house. The food is honest, warming and unapologetically good with a beer; take our advice and go for the Lancashire hot pot with pickled cabbage and red gravy, washed down with a pint.
Private hire is available with the whole venue up for exclusive hire. Take this option and you can squeeze an impressive 130 people for a private dinner.
3. A Manchester venue and formal chapel: Albert Hall
Listen up, you London-centric bores, there is more than one Albert Hall in the country. Manchester's Albert hall opened in 2021, replacing an former Wesleyan Chapel and creating a one-of-a-kind space to host a multitude of events in,
With room for 1800 guests, vaulted ceilings, stain glass windows and an original organ, Albert Hall brings space, size, atmosphere and gravitas to the Manchester events scene. For smaller more intimate events the space can be customised and laid out for a 300 person dinner.
It's big, beautiful and sewn into the history of Manchester.
4. A Manchester venue to get you basics at: Convenience Store
Northern Quarter, Manchester
Despite appearances, this quaint shop front is not going to satisfy your cravings for space invaders, a big blue Powerade and a copy of Heat. Entering into the admittedly populated landscape of misleading facades enters Manchester's Convenience Store.
Occupying a pokey-looking building in the busy Northern Quarter, Convenience Store have taken a theme and ran with it. Past the counters of milk duds and shelves of Lucky Charms, you'll find a fully decked-out venue – complete with an arcade machine.
45 of you can enjoy the Convenience Store, and make full use of the cocktail range and booze-centric food.
5. Manchester's suburban bliss venue: Eleven Didbsury Park
Among the vaulted terraces of leafy Didsbury is a little-known gem of a venue that would be a great setting to your Manchester event.
Eleven Didsbury combines homely interiors with hotel-standard service and a quaint garden. It's a home away from home, and someone else will do your washing up.
Eleven Didsbury cater to all kinds of events, from parties and weddings to corporate meals and networking events.
The lounge and boardroom support 50, whilst the larger garden has room for 80 guests. Didsbury is in the path of Manchester's major bus corridor and is served by a tramline that connects you to the city centre.
6. Darts! Darts! Darts!: Flight Club, Manchester
Nothing is quite as northern as darts. A sport that allows, even encourages, you to hold a pint. A sport mastered in pubs and working clubs. A sport best followed by a snack that induces early onset heart disease.
Flight Club takes darts and fine-tunes it. With electronically connected boards (but not electronic, the difference is important to anyone who's ever used an electronic dart board), you can track every throw, no matter how inaccurate it may be.
Manchester's Flight Club has a few private hire offerings, with our favourite being The Olde Fayre, a large private event space that can hold 120 guests, and has 5 beautiful oches and access to the bar.
The best venues in Manchester
Looking for the best venue hire in Manchester? You've come to the right place. We've rounded up all the top venues near you, so whatever sort of event you're planning, these spaces have what you're looking for. Big, small, outdoor, indoor - whatever you can imagine, we can make it happen. Have a look at these Manchester venues and get some ideas for where to have your next event.
Manchester's event spaces
Whatever kind of gathering you're planning, from a conference to a dinner, a birthday party to a meeting, we've got venues across Manchester on hand, ready to receive you and your guests and help you run the perfect event.
Manchester venue hire - our top picks
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel - Private Room 12
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel - Private Room 15 & 16
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel - Private Room 3
Hilton Manchester Deansgate - Deansgate 3
Hilton Manchester Deansgate - Deansgate 1
Hilton Manchester Deansgate - The Deansgate Suite
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel - The Halle Lounge Bar
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel - Private Room 5
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel - Private Room 14
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How to hire Manchester's best venues
Wandering amongst the vintage stores and dive bars of the Northern Quarter you may come across an iconic mosaic sunk into a redbrick building on Short Street, it reads: ‘AND ON THE SIXTH DAY GOD CREATED MANCHESTER’. The biblical claims of the Northern city might cause accusations of swagger, but trust us – Manchester’s venues are truly in their own league.
Manchester is justifiably well-regarded for its amazing nightlife, and there is certainly no shortage of bars and clubs to keep even the most seasoned of revellers occupied. It doesn’t end there, however, the city is host to a wondrous array of venues that can bring your work or private event to a new, undeniably Mancunian level. So get out your waviest garms and let us take you through the best way to book a Manchester venue.
Planning like a pro
Getting your Manchester event off the ground can feel like a gargantuan task. There are so many factors to consider, so many areas to slip up. It’s best to break it down into the key criteria that you need to approach a selection of quality Manchester venues
Capacity: getting your event guest list in order should be one of the top priorities when it comes to planning a proper Mancunion event, having a solid number will let you hone in on the correct venue size and the number of extras that may be required.
Budget: for any event you’re going to need a budget, and the more control over this you exercise, the fewer nasty surprises that will pop up down the road. Establishing a cost per head is a great way to budget for your Manchester event - this way you get an overview of the spend as well as an indication of how far it will go on an individual level.
Choice: it’s your event and you’re going to want a decent cross-section of Manchester’s best venues to choose from. Getting your event brief out to as many great venues as possible is as easy as ever.
Like the back of your hand
Manchester is an intoxicating city with a plethora of histories running through its streets and alleyways. The sheer character of the place means that each area has its distinct feel and the kind of venues you’ll find will reflect the specific locale. Take Didsbury, for example. This South-Manchester haunt is a charming and leafy suburb that has mastered venues specialising in brunches and candlelit cocktails. For modern co-working spaces and that Ayn Rand big-city-feel, you could do a lot worse than the city centre. With towering glass office blocks standing shoulder to shoulder with grand Victorian buildings, it’s a great place to feel in the midst of things.
No summation of Machester’s popular event hubs would be complete, of course, without mentioning its two trendiest areas that lay side by side, just northeast of Picadilly Gardens. Ancoats and The Northern Quarter are both buzzing Manchester neighbourhoods that lay within walking distance of the city centre, whilst retaining their own ineffable vibe. Check out either to get a healthy dose of midnight drinking holes and beautifully unique dining options.
Getting around Manchester
Travel is rarely the most exciting aspect of holding a Manchester-based event, but it’s undeniably an important one. Fortunately, Manchester is well-served by trams and buses that can get you to and from your perfect venue at any time of day. For those coming from afar, the well-connected hub of Manchester Piccadilly station will be your most likely destination, so looking for venues in the city centre itself is a great way to minimise travel.
The final hurdle
With your venue criteria established, alongside travel arrangements and your Manchester map in hand, you’re ready to do the important thing – get the perfect venue booked and secured for whatever event you’re putting on. Now you can go about this the old fashioned way – think phone calls, unanswered emails, hair pulled out and collecting in piles by the computer. Or, and hear us out, you could book the smart way. Give us your exact specifications and we’ll circulate your enquiry amongst the very best venues in Manchester. Then all you have to do is sit back, relax and wait for a great selection of available Manchester venues reach out to you.
For venues in Manchester, you're spoilt for choice. Here are a few extra special ones that we vouch for:
[The Great Nave, The Monastery Manchester - Stunning feels like an understatement with this Grade II, neogothic icon in the heart of Manchester’s Gorton district. Where else could you host your event among flying buttresses, rose windows and a sunlit altar? Yeah, not many places.
Albert Hall - Few venues can claim the reputation that Albert Hall boasts. The famed music venue can play host to your very own event, providing an impressive backdrop to weddings, conferences, parties and everything in-between.
There really is no one answer to this question: so many variables come into play when understanding the cost of hiring a venue in Manchester. Do you want catering? How many guests are you planning for? Is the venue for the day, the night or a weekend? The good news is that you can find a venue for pretty much any budget (okay, almost any budget).
A meeting room, for example, will start around the £50 mark and could go as high as £500, depending on the specifics. For exclusive hire of entire event spaces, you’ll be looking more at budgets of £2000 and upwards.
Instead of letting the venue take the initiative, our advice is to be proactive and set a budget that you feel comfortable with – this way the right venues will reach out to you.
There are lots of ways to book a Manchester venue. You can do the old-fashioned thing and pick up the phone, or email the venue directly. Unfortunately, lots of venues are busy and may not get back to you in time. That's where we come in. Give us your enquiry and we'll reach out to the best venues in Manchester and let you enjoy your free time. Easy.