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The Haçienda was nearly in a warehouse in Castlefield, according to co-founder

Alan Erasmus' view was not shared by the other co-founders of the superclub

  • Aneesa Ahmed
  • 30 May 2022
The Haçienda was nearly in a warehouse in Castlefield, according to co-founder

Co-founder of the Haçienda Alan Erasmus has revealed that he originally wanted the superclub to be located in an old warehouse in Castlefield "just near where Dukes 92 is now."

As Manchester Evening News reports, the Haçienda and Factory Records founders had lengthy discussions with each other about where the club would be best placed.

Haçienda co-founder Alan Erasmus (pictured on right) says that he believed the then derelict old warehouses in Castlefield showed potential - however, the other Factory Records founders disagreed with him.

Read this next: The Haçienda has been named as one of Manchester's most iconic sites

At the time, Erasmus had already been running the Russell Club in Hulme.

He said: "Just near where Dukes 92 is now, in Castlefield, is the Duke of Bridgewater's Warehouse (Merchants' Warehouse), it is what should have been the Haçienda.

"I'd been to Plan K in Brussels, it was an old sugar warehouse, there were multiple floors, multiple spaces for film and music - and that's what I could see could being done at Bridgewater's Warehouse for the Haçienda.

"It was ideal, the whole place had a magical feel to it, it still does with the beautiful bridge there, that was where the Hacienda should have been built. But Rob and Tony didn't catch what I was saying, I was outvoted, and Jimmy Ramsbottom bought it for £25,000 I think - I was so pissed off."

Read this next: The Haçienda, like they always saw it: New photobook documents the iconic Manchester venue

His opinion of wanting it in Castlefield not being echoed by the other founders instantly ruled it out. Factory Records run on a democratic-based system, whereby the most popular voted outcome prevails.

The Castlefield site has now been transformed into a hub of bars, restaurants and office spaces which are still around today.

The Haçienda ended up being built in the famous old yacht warehouse on the corner of Whitworth Street West.

According to Erasmus, the initial investment that Factory Records' Rob Gretton wanted to make was £50,000, however, buying the site cost them over £600,000.

"No one knows how much was lost in total. But I think Hooky [Peter Hook] said it was £6million".

Read this next: Manchester is the beating heart of new music in the UK

Despite Erasmus' original idea not going through, he reminisces on the successes of the club and the impact that it had on club culture, saying: "I've not been to a club out there for a long time, but I doubt there will ever be anything like the Haçienda, or Factory, again. It was a unique creative platform.

"I know a lot of people had a brilliant time there, that cultural entertainment aspect of it. I can only sit back and applaud it.

"I remember the big birthday nights especially. We had a fairground in there once with a helter-skelter. At Nude we had a swimming pool in there on the dancefloor. You could feel the atmosphere in there some nights and I've never felt that anywhere since."

Read this next: Acid Flashback: Nude establishes The Haçienda as the North's summer of love epicentre

Read the full story on Manchester Evening News.

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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