MediaCityUK have teamed up with award-winning agency HemingwayDesign to bring a unique new dining and arts experience to the heart of the digital and creative hub. ‘Box on the Docks’ aims to support both the local hospitality businesses and self-employed creatives by creating a unique, socially distanced dining experience which doubles as a piece of impactful public art.
Launching at the end of July, ‘Box on the Docks’ will consist of approximately 30 ‘boxes’ – taking the form of deluxe sheds and greenhouses – to be placed outside the restaurants and cafes at MediaCityUK. The initiative will offer external, self-contained dining pods that allow MediaCity’s community of residents, workers and visitors to return to their favourite restaurants and bars in a safe, secure and welcoming environment, whilst ensuring social distancing guidelines are met.
Participating restaurants include The Dockyard, known for their craft ale and artisan pies, popular cocktail bar The Alchemist, plant-based eatery Vertigo which is due to open its second branch at MediaCityUK imminently, and award-winning coffee specialists Grindsmith, with a second phase of participants to be announced later this month. For those that just want a casual drink, coffee, or to get ice cream with the kids there’ll also be additional outdoor distanced seating with views of the waterfront.
With support from the Salford Culture and Place Partnership, ‘Box on the Docks’ have sent out 15 artists commissions to decorate the ‘boxes’ to organisations including Islington Mill, Paradise Works, Hot Bed Press and Quays Culture as well as offered opportunities to Salford students and early career artists who are graduates of Salford University School of Art. Designs submitted so far include everything from neon light installations and murals, to sound projections and poetry.
Stephen Wild, Managing Director at MediaCityUK, said: “We pride ourselves on the quality of our public spaces at MediaCityUK, providing a safe and welcoming environment for all. We know the hospitality and creative industries have been among the hardest hit by the impact of Covid-19, and ‘Box on the Docks’ is our way of helping them back on their feet. ‘Box on the Docks’ is the first in a series of initiatives, which will see us partnering with our key occupiers and the wider cultural community to deliver exciting outdoor activities during these uniquely challenging times.”
Paul Dennett, Mayor of Salford said: “The hospitality and creative industries have been amongst the hardest hit from the impacts of Covid-19, with Greater Manchester’s visitor economy worth £2.6bn GVA per year, supporting 105,000 jobs and our Creative Industries worth £4.4bn GVA per year, supporting 78,500 jobs in the city-region. It’s critical we do all we can to support these important sectors, this is why innovative and creative projects such as ‘Box on the Docks’ which offer a safe framework to help our local restaurants and independent creatives get back on their feet are so important. I look forward to supporting this innovative initiative in our city and would like to thank everyone involved.”
Wayne Hemingway, co-founder of HemingwayDesign said: “ At HemingwayDesign we are “glass half full” and after all these months of lockdown we are keen to emerge having fun (safely of course!) and support both local creative practitioners as well as the cafés and restaurants who have been shut down for all these months . ‘Box on the Docks’ delivers on all these and gives people a welcome dash of serendipity.”
‘Box on the Docks’ will run from the end of July 2020. For more information and to be amongst the first to discover how to book a table, follow @boxonthedocks on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or find out more at www.boxonthedocks.co.uk