Inspired by London’s thriving Off West End theatres, the Hope Mill brings the intimate vibes and small-scale productions to Manchester. The award-winning venue is dominated by musical theatre, while also providing creative space for the city’s budding talents. Formerly a cotton mill and part of Manchester’s renowned contribution to the Industrial Revolution, the site transformed and opened as a theatre in 2015. It was born out of Josep Houston and William Whelton’s passion to support Manchester’s theatre culture by channeling London’s successful Off West End venues. They have since staged many shows and secured awards for being the best small theatre venue and considered among Stage 100’s most influential. Visitors to the site can enjoy pizzas and beers at the Engine Room Bar, indulging in the Mill’s historic ambience and architecture. Also buried in the venue’s five storeys, the creative’s studio is the home of many of Manchester’s writers, designers, and others within the performing arts industry. This arguably tributes the couple’s recognition of how hard it can be to get your foot in the door, especially in London where they both lived for years, and wanted to overcome this by giving Manchester’s artists opportunities. Though only open a short span of time, the Hope Mill has proven Hopeful, whereby its shows have received wide success. Despite wanting to lead the way with musicals, the venue is also the site for a variety of shows, including dramas, pantomimes, and comedies.