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About Us

The Manchester Contemporary is dedicated to bringing together the most exciting, up and coming galleries and artists from across the UK to Manchester.

Launched in 2008, The Manchester Contemporary is committed to encouraging and developing a market for critically engaged contemporary art in the region. It provides an opportunity for audiences to access high calibre contemporary art by exhibiting international artists alongside those that are new and emerging.

The Manchester Contemporary now celebrates its 10th edition with a move to Manchester Central. With increased space and room to grow, the new location in the heart of one of Europe’s most exciting cultural destinations will allow the fair to drive the North’s art market forward for years to come.

'It’s been great to see Buy Art Fair develop over the last few years, and Manchester Central is the perfect venue to move up to the big league. It is what the city needs.'

Frank Cohen, ‘World’s Top 200 Art Collector’

'Buy Art Fair and the Manchester Contemporary have become significant fixtures in Manchester’s cultural calendar and the move will allow them to make an even greater impact on the Manchester cultural scene.'

Maria Balshaw, Former Director, The Whitworth

'The last weekend in October is a busy one for Manchester’s attractions, shops and restaurants, and Buy Art Fair will undoubtedly add to the buzz on the streets.'

Vaughan Allen, CEO, CityCo

The Organisers

The team behind the event has over 20 years experience in the large scale events industry and organises events in the arts and culture and food & drink industries. Current events include Buy Art Fair, The Manchester Contemporary, Northern Restaurant & Bar, NRB Debate and NRB Top Fifty Awards.

Event CEO and founder, Thom Hetherington, has become one of the leading cultural figures in the region, and has recently been appointed as a trustee of Manchester Art Gallery, in addition to his board role at Castlefield Gallery. Thom has also consulted for the Manchester International Festival, discussed arts engagement on BBC Breakfast with Clare Lilley from Yorkshire Sculpture Park and artist David Shrigley, contributed to artist Ghislaine Howard’s book ‘The Human Touch’, and is a judge for this year’s New Light Art Prize. He was named ‘Cultural Icon’ in the Manchester Evening News City Life awards 2016.

Supported by

'Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England


Landmark Investments Group

Manchester School of Art

5Plus Architects

Cheadle Hulme School

Manchester City Council

Manchester Evening News

J W Lees


The Prinicipal Manchester

Jack Arts

Own Art

Hetherington Framers

Leopold Eaton