Box on the Docks is an idea conceived for MediaCity in 2020 as a way to support local hospitality businesses and local artists through the Covid-19 pandemic. In a year of ‘unprecedented’ times, the speed at which this project took off and was delivered was truly remarkable.
The concept was to create self-contained dining pods, each decorated by a local artist, allowing visitors to return Media City safely and attend their favourite bars and restaurants whilst socially distancing.
Within two months, alongside the MediaCityUK team, we zoomed, we discussed, we researched, we designed, we branded, we curated, we produced and we launched. Thirty sheds and greenhouses were installed on site and fifteen local artists commissioned to decorate them. The visual identity, produced by HemingwayDesign, was applied across the site and social channels. There were partnerships with BBC Sounds, CBeebies and the venue was even host to a socially distanced wedding!
Box on the Docks has doubled footfall at MediaCity and has helped raise awareness of MediaCity as a cultural and social destination. The project has not only added local colour and flair to the place, but it has provided the public and local residents with a free, exciting and unique new attraction to visit at a time when it was most needed.
The concept continued in 2021 and is now a long term placemaking brand at MediaCity and a core part of their winter activity programming. We were especially proud of this project as an immediate situational reaction – at a time when all of us as citizens wanted to ‘do something’ to address the fallout of the pandemic, the idea of supporting artists and the hospitality industry whilst providing a free cultural attraction for people in Salford Quays was a fantastic project to get our teeth into. Our project partners Peel as well as all of the brilliant local businesses, artists and individuals who made this happen so quickly under extreme circumstances all deserve a big pat on the back for a job very well done.
Box on the Docks won Best Placemaking Project at the Insider North West Property Awards in October 2021.