Theatre is a difficult sell to certain demographics though, tickets are not cheap! Its not a small venue either - its a full 2500/5000 seater! I can see a LOT of Arts Council funding being ploughed in - when other venues are having theirs cut. There was a lot of debate, and criticism, a few years ago at having the Royal Opera House planning to take over the Palace permanently - perhaps this has developed from that plan.
But since Granada moved out it has basically been a centre of art-house productions as well as the ITV World Cup park and other arty events and The Manchester Exhibition could become an annual event, which is needed. Plus ticket prices do not have t be expensive - although if Ticketmaster are involved they would be astronomical!
Lets not forget that the North West is a very rich ground for acclaimed actors and actresses who have tread the boards in the North and would to do so even more and this will help!
ITVGranada/BBC North West/C4/C5/NPO1,2,3/RTL4,5,7,8/SBS 6, Net 5,Veronica, SBS9