You may not be familiar with the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester just north of Deansgate. On the surface it appears to be just another average suburb, but it’s rapidly becoming a fascinating area of diverse cultural activities. Ostensibly it is renowned for its wholesale businesses and fabric shops, owing their success no doubt to the rich mix of local residents – Asian, Caribbean and Jewish all rub shoulders with a significant Irish population to create a bustling community. But something different has just cropped up.
If you head to The Yard at number 11 Bent Street (M8 8NF for satnavers), you’ll realise it has become something of a creative hotspot recently. Behind the red brick frontage of what was originally a Victorian school, is a new and exciting workspace aimed at people who want to start up their own businesses, but who don’t want the constraints associated with corporate organisations.
The time will inevitably come when your college days are over and you have to start earning a crust. If you have a creative bent, you could do worse than head for The Yard to set up a fledgling business. You might work on a hot-desk basis in a mixed workplace (and even take your dog with you if you wish), you can use the Green Room to chill and have a coffee, and you can use the central hall to showcase your wares, or browse various exhibitions and displays. They say it offers ‘a personal touch and interactive feel’.
You could well find yourself working alongside copywriters, editors, entrepreneurs, fashion designers, freelancers, media producers, musicians, as well as other start-ups and small businesses. The owners Jo and Mark Hamburger say that they want to “transform the reputation of the area by bringing artistic talent in from all over Manchester. We intend to use this space to exhibit and showcase some of the city’s outstanding talent”.
This may well be your chance to become an ‘outstanding talent’ one day, but in the meantime you could keep an eye out for up-and-coming live music events at the venue. Whether it’s gigs, conferences or exhibitions, it sounds as if The Yard could well soon be making a significant impression as the hot spot for Manchester’s aspiring creative hotshots.