Known to one group of Mancunians as ‘Paradise Factory’ and to another as ‘Fac 251’, the building located at number one Charles Street will re-open at the end of January 2008 while under the watchful eye of the team currently found behind The Warehouse Project.
Gaining notoriety as the new headquarters for Factory Records with a costly revamp of the Victorian shell by Hacienda/Dry Bar maverick Ben Kelly, the debt-ridden label handed ownership to the Manto Group’s Peter Dalton and Carol Ainscow - who were estimated at the time to have paid £500,000 (just two thirds of the cost of Kelly’s industrial makeover).
Initially popular with gay/mixed crowds who abandoned venues like The Number One, Paradise Factory played host to key parties with everyone from Tim Lennox to Justin Robertson at the helm. Sometime stints from Bugged Out followed in addition to re-launches with similarly underground projects like Dirty City Disco. Yet anyone who ventured to the club prior to its last closure can tell you how it was looking a tad tired. Numbers dwindled and it wasn’t uncommon to encounter problems with either the air conditioning or the sound system. A shame really: it was always one of those clubs that you could lose yourself in for hours on end – perhaps stumbling on a selection of dubby downtempo in the attic before again braving some hi-octane anthems playing downstairs from its only marginally less heaving balcony.
Maybe its latest incarnation will be its most notable yet.