Consortium to turn ex-Factory Records venue into hotel

How the LUMA hotel will look

A consortium led by hospitality and property developer Heeton Holdings has confirmed its purchase of the Dry Bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and planning to turn it into a stylish new hotel.

The Northern Quarter landmark, which was opened by Factory Records in 1989 and played a central role in the growth of the Northern Quarter music scene, was put up for sale last year.

There is an existing planning permission from 2015 to convert the underused upper floors of the building into a hotel.

The consortium led by Singapore-based Heeton, in conjunction with KSH Holdings and Ryobi Kiso Holdings, plans to use its niche focus as a developer of distinctive and high-quality development projects to deliver the hotel.

Recently Heeton test launched its first boutique hotel, LUMA concept hotel, based in Hammersmith London.

The hotel design shows a sensitive restoration of the building and the addition of a modest extension above the existing roof level.

Edwin Liu, country head (UK & Europe) at Heeton Holdings, said: “We’re delighted to be taking forward this project in an area that is so culturally important to Manchester.

“Manchester has experienced exceptional growth over recent years and the leisure and hospitality sector is going from strength to strength. We look forward to working with Manchester City Council to realise a shared vision for the site.

“This is an exciting opportunity to bring a new lease of life to a building which is synonymous with the growth of the Northern Quarter. An area already at the cutting edge of Manchester’s music and cultural scene, we believe that the addition of a distinctive new hotel will help to cement the Northern Quarter’s position as a major destination within this vibrant international city.

“Dry Bar is an iconic venue which has played an important role in Manchester’s 20th century music history. We are committed to honouring that legacy. Our design team will be ambitious but also sensitive to the history of the building.”

Heeton Holdings received a positive reaction to its proposals at a consultation event for neighbours earlier this month. Nicky Oliver, who’s hair salon is next door to the site, said:

“I’ve been excited to see these proposals develop. The Northern Quarter has changed hugely in the 25 years we’ve been here and it must continue to evolve. I’ve been impressed with the quality of Heeton’s plans and think this design-led hotel will be a great addition to Oldham Street.”

A planning application for the scheme will be submitted soon.