Manchester Central Convention Complex (commonly referred to as Manchester Central) is a conference and exhibition centre in Manchester city centre.
The centre regularly hosts prestigious events and conferences. Notable events held here have included political party conferences (Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat), X-Factor auditions and finals, and the 2002 Commonwealth Games (gymnastics, weightlifting etc.).
Key facilities include the Central Hall (10,000 square metres – column free), the Exchange Auditorium (800+ seats), and Exchange Hall (1200 capacity dining space).
Services available include WiFi, a concierge team, and a business centre offering printing, photocopying, stationery, and IT support.
Manchester Central is located on Windmill Street in the Petersfield area of the city.
There is a good choice of hotels, restaurants, and bars nearby (see the list at the end of this page).
Train Stations and Metrolink Tram Stops
The nearest train station is Manchester Oxford Road.
Manchester Piccadilly Station, the city’s main train station, is just over ½ mile from Manchester Central. Free buses leave from outside the station entrance and stop near the venue. Metrolink trams also leave from Piccadilly Metrolink Tram Stop and go directly to St Peter’s Square.
Visitors arriving at Manchester Airport can use the Metrolink to travel to the venue. There are direct services from Manchester Airport Metrolink Tram Stop to Deansgate-Castlefield and St Peter’s Square.
The venue has a dedicated car park. The NCP Manchester Central Car Park offers spaces for more than 600 vehicles. It is located beneath the venue and is open 24 hours. Parking fees apply.
The car park entrance is on Lower Mosley Street. NCP recommend using the postcode M2 3GX to find it using a sat nav.
The building opened in 1880 as Manchester Central Railway Station. It operated for 89 years until closure in 1969.
The station fell into disrepair before being acquired by Greater Manchester County Council. It was completely refurbished and reopened as the Greater Manchester Exhibition Centre (G-Mex) in 1986.
It was the primary venue for major concerts in the city until the Manchester Arena opened in 1995.
The Manchester International Convention Centre was added in 2001. The extension incorporated the auditorium.
In 2007 the entire complex was renamed Manchester Central.