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    Blog by Tom Bloxham MBE

    Bringing our “It Will Never Work” exhibition to Manchester

    29 October 2018
    A 3 minute read by Tom Bloxham

    Next week we’re bringing our US25 anniversary exhibition - It Will Never Work - home to Manchester. The exhibition, which has toured other cities like Liverpool, Birmingham and London, takes its name from the early days of Urban Splash when Jonathan and I were told our ideas to transform disused and unloved buildings would never work.

    When I first moved to Manchester in the late 1980s I knew it WOULD work. I knew there was something that could be done to awaken the city - which back then shut down at 6pm every night - and that those haunting old buildings, which stood largely derelict and unloved – in spite of their obvious appeal - could be transformed.

    Fast forward a few years; I met Jonathan in Liverpool and we put some plans into action – some plans to change a lot of old buildings there and in Manchester. 25 years on I’m proud that we're bringing our exhibition home and reflecting on the work that’s been done.

    Smithfield Buildings, Manchester

    Our exhibition features displays of some of Manchester’s best known transformations, from our work putting the Northern Quarter on the map with the Smithfield Buildings, to our early efforts in anchoring Ducie House as a cultural hub – once home to our iconic homegrown musicians and brands such as 808 State, Simply Red and Ear to the Ground.

    Town House under construction at New Islington, Manchester

    There’s a display of our famous upside-down houses at Chimney Pot Park in Salford, to the more recent work we’ve been doing bringing our modular Town Houses to New Islington and Irwell Riverside.

    "It Will Never Work" exhibition

    The exhibition will run for two weeks from Monday 5th November at the Manchester Metropolitan University’s School of Art and we’ll have a special launch event with Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who’ll attend as our guest speaker. You can join us on the evening by booking a free ticket here; we’re after-partying at Bugzy Malone too – he’s gigging as part of a Manchester International Festival ‘special edition’ programme and you can buy a ticket here.

    And if you’re not in Manchester don’t worry, the exhibition will move to Sheffield on 21st November, and you can read all about it in our new book, available on Amazon now.

    About the author

    Tom Bloxham

    Chair and Co-Founder

    Tom Bloxham MBE is chairman and founder of award-winning regeneration company Urban Splash, which has received over 420 awards to date for architecture, design and business success.

    The company is responsible for development projects across the country, including Manchester, Liverpool, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Bristol, Plymouth, North Shields and Morecambe. In 1999 Tom was awarded an MBE for Services to Architecture and Urban Regeneration.

    Tom also upholds a number of other positions including; Chairman of Manchester International Festival, and trustee of Tate, the Manchester United Foundation and The Bloxham Charitable Trust.

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