The Royal Exchange was completed in1921. It was the place where cotton was bought and sold and was once one of the largest commercial spaces in the world. It became redundant in 1968. In need of a new use, in 1974 a local theatre company decided to make it their new home. The hall had two significant problems: The poor load-bearing capacity of the original floor and the considerable reverberation time. LBA solved these issues by inserting a new free standing auditorium, which resembles a gigantic lunar excursion module! Huge trusses transfer the structure's weight to the original central columns, which are the only points capable of taking the load. The intimate auditorium seats 700: 450 on the ground with the remainder in two levels of galleries. The stage is one of the largest theatre-in-the-round set-ups in the UK. The original hall serves as the foyer, and is also used by the performers to make their entrances and exits.