Our top five things you might not know about the history of our building. Featuring jail cells, grand plans and absolutely no clogs.
The Derby Hall was built in the 1840s by architect Sydney Smirke, and originally used as a magistrate’s court, a police station, the Earl of Derby’s estate offices and a large assembly room. In 1979, the building was then transformed into Bury Metropolitan Arts Association (BMAA) or The Met as it is more commonly known today.
Over the past four decades, The Met has welcomed over 1.5 million people through its doors to see legendary musicians and artists including Joy Division, The Pixies, and comedians Peter Kay and Steve Coogan. After a £4.6 million refurbishment in 2016, The Met proudly opened its doors once again to the public, bringing with it an exciting and diverse programme of events.
The building’s intricate neo-classical detail is now complimented with modern accents, including the visually stunning light installation hanging in the entrance way, designed by Manchester artist Liz West.
Images taken during The Met’s refurbishment in early 2016.
The infamous ‘Derby Hall Riot’ took place at The Met in April 1980. It was one of Joy Division’s final gigs, and had a lasting impact on the band, the venue, and the legacy of one of Manchester’s most influential musical voices.