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The Manchester Contemporary relocates to Manchester Central

30 May 2017

Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary celebrate their tenth edition with a move to Manchester Central, the award-winning exhibition centre created from the historic Manchester Central railway station.  With increased space and room to grow, the new location in the heart of one of Europe’s most exciting cultural destinations will allow Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary to drive the North’s art market forward for years to come.

  • Buy Art Fair and Manchester Contemporary secure world class venue at Manchester Central.
  • Bold move for tenth edition applauded by cultural heavyweights including Maria Balshaw and Frank Cohen.
  • New venue and new dates - VIP launch night on Fri 27 and open days Sat 28 and Sun 29 October 2017.


Manchester’s prestigious Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary, which has sold millions of pounds of contemporary art including works by Damian Hirst, Tracy Emin and Grayson Perry, has announced a move to a new venue and new dates as part of its tenth edition celebrations this Autumn. The fair will take place at Manchester Central, with a Friday night launch and open days of Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October.

Founder and CEO Thom Hetherington says “We launched Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary at Urbis in October 2008 and following that we had fantastic support from Allied London who allowed us to occupy ‘meanwhile’ spaces around Spinningfields and Old Granada Studios.  Now after ten years it is the right time for the fair to secure a venue which can offer growth and continuity.”

The move will ensure the fair can continue to nurture and develop the North’s burgeoning art scene. Hetherington continues, “Making the leap represents a significant investment on our part but it means Buy Art Fair 2017 will house the largest collection of exhibiting galleries and artists ever seen outside the capital. We have a host of new features and an expanded ‘Buy Art Fair Fringe’ to announce, and we are confident that we will attract more art lovers than ever."

Manchester Central, with its dramatic single-span wrought-iron arches supporting a sweeping arched roof harking back to Manchester’s industrial past, is now famed as an award-winning exhibition centre with world class facilities, superb transport connectivity and a prime city centre location alongside hotels, restaurants, offices and cultural institutions.  

The move has been applauded across Manchester’s art world, with Maria Balshaw, Director of the Whitworth and soon to be Director of Tate, saying “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.”

Frank Cohen, recognised as one of the world’s top 200 art collectors, stated “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’s what the city needs.”  Vaughan Allen, CEO of CityCo, enthused “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.”

Although some of the world’s finest art fairs are also housed in major exhibition centres Hetherington reinforces that the move is equally attuned to local dynamics. “We have grand plans for Buy Art Fair and the Manchester Contemporary, and as with the expansion of The Whitworth, the construction of The Factory, and the relocation of the Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre, we know our new home will allow us the scale and flexibility to deliver.”

Buy Art Fair, incorporating The Manchester Contemporary, is the largest and most prestigious art fair outside London, having sold over £3m of art to collectors from across the North of England. The 2017 fair will include 100 exhibiting galleries and artists. In addition, there will be an extended programme of talks, events, demonstrations and the Masterpiece charity dinner at The Whitworth, and for the first time the Buy Art Fair Fringe will see affiliated events and initiatives spilling out across the whole city.

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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