30 designer greenhouses and sheds are being built on the waterfront
MediaCityUK have teamed up with award-winning agency HemingwayDesign to create a new socially distanced dining and arts experience in the heart of Salford’s digital and creative hub. The aim for ‘Box on the Docks’ is to support local hospitality businesses and self-employed creatives with this unique dining experience which doubles as public art.
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
Launching at the end of July, ‘Box on the Docks’ will consist of approximately 30 ‘boxes’ - taking the form of deluxe sheds and greenhouses - placed outside the restaurants and cafes at MediaCityUK. These will serve as 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.
The MediaCityUK development is home to BBC North, ITV, the University of Salford, dock10 and innovation hub The Landing, as well as a number of blue-chip companies including Ericsson, Kellogg’s, The Hut Group and Huawei. It also hosts over 250 smaller creative and tech businesses.
Restaurants utilising the new boxes include The Dockyard, known for craft ale and artisan pies; popular cocktail bar The Alchemist; plant-based eatery Vertigo (which is due to open its second branch at MediaCityUK very soon) and award-winning coffee specialists Grindsmith. A second phase of participants will be announced later this month. There will also be additional outdoor distanced seating with views of the waterfront for those that just want a casual drink, coffee, or to get ice cream with the kids
With support from the Salford Culture and Place Partnership, ‘Box on the Docks’ have commissioned 15 artists to decorate the ‘boxes’ from organisations including Islington Mill, Paradise Works, Hot Bed Press and Quays Culture. Opportunities have also been offered 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.
Josie Cahill, place director at MediaCityUK, said: “As people start to safely spend more time outside, Box on the Docks will hopefully offer a new cultural destination with the boxes becoming an al fresco gallery to explore the work of Salford-based artists whilst enjoying the green space and canal views at MediaCityUK. We’re looking forward to seeing the commissions installed and welcoming visitors safely back to MediaCityUK.”
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.”
Wayne Hemingway, co-founder of HemingwayDesign, a multi-disciplinary design agency, said: “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 social or find out more at boxonthedocks.co.uk