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15th May 2017

By insider Media Limited

MediaCityUK managing director Stephen Wild has told Insider that the arrival of an Alchemist cocktail bar and restaurant will bring “something special” to Salford Quays as construction work completes on the new gold-clad statement building.

Wild was speaking at a topping-out ceremony to celebrate progress on the Alchemist’s 11th UK venue on the site known as the Bund, which sits on the bridge linking MediaCityUK to the Lowry Theatre.

The plot was formerly the location of a sales office for developments.

Wild said: “We’ve got a fantastic range of food and drink outlets here already but we needed something special.

“It’s a statement building, it might be small but it’s perfectly formed. It’s a huge commitment for the Alchemist and I’m looking forward to it being open.”

During the event, Wild joked that his original brief to Manchester-based practice Reid Architects was so vague that it could basically be summarised as “just do something different and something special”.

Meanwhile, Marion Room from Reid Architects explained how the scheme aims to draw together the different areas of Salford Quays, adding that “we think gold is the perfect colour for the Alchemist “. And Mike Banton, managing director of construction company Artez, hailed the rapid turnaround achieved on a complex building project that started onsite in August 2016 and completed just nine months later.

The scheme features a striking gold-clad roof and external walls. A terrace also cantilevers out over the canal to create a waterside al-fresco drinks and dining space.

Simon Potts, managing director of the Alchemist, said: “It’s our 11th Alchemist but it’s one that we’ve been excited about for a very long time.

“It’s a project that was conceived something like five years ago. There’s been such excitement and anticipation about the Alchemist coming into this area. The location is such a positive for us.

“We live in the age of Instagram. People like sharing experiences, a gold-wrapped building could do very well on Instagram.”

Now that construction work has completed, the project now moves forward to the fit-out stage.

Potts added: “Our fit-out starts on 22 May, it’s very important that we get everything right from day one.

“It won’t look like Spinningfields, it won’t look like New York Street. It’ll feel contemporary and modern in finish.”

The Alchemist’s new cocktail bar and restaurant at MediaCityUK is scheduled to open at the end of August 2017.