Sankeys - © Nathan Cox/Time Out
Following a radical refit that mirrored the regeneration of its industrial surroundings, Mancunian institution Sankeys (formerly Sankeys Soap) is proof that serious clubbing in Manchester is not solely about the mega-club experience. Situated in a landmark building, and featuring impressive line-ups, the club commands a substantial slice of the action and has now achieved recognition on the world stage.
The Beehive Mill-based club was refurbished back in 2006. A third room was added, the sound and light bolstered, the music policy reinvented and the grimy interior radically overhauled to create a brand new club space primed for futuristic fun. Clubbers responded favourably - in 2010, Sankeys was voted the number-one club in the world in DJ Magazine's Top 100 Clubs poll.
The club is neither superclub nor purely underground, but creates a boutique clubbers' experience from the best aspects of both. Because of this, and thanks to its year-round, five nights a week opening, Sankeys provides a more easily accessible Manchester club experience than the seasonal and often sold-out Warehouse Project.
Some nights, such as electro stalwart Bugged Out, are well established; others, such as underground house and Latin night Carnival, are more recent. The 2006 refurbishment undoubtedly gave Sankeys a slicker image, but it still continues to push the musical envelope after hours.