Plans for a new two-storey creative hub, celebrating crafts like pottery, photography, and textiles, is set to open in Manchester.
The Makers Quarter will take shape at Kampus, and is designed to be the city’s first ‘all-in-one creative destination’.
It’s been created by couple Sophie Mason and Stephen Hobson, who previously ran the space from Salford and found that ‘impractical spaces and isolation’ are major problems for creatives.
This first-of-its-kind destination will have space for visitors to get hands-on with various crafts, while independent businesses can have a space of their own.
Parts of the building will run like a creative co-working space, with shared machinery and tech including 3D printers and laser cutters.
There’ll be a deli and coffee shop, a concept store selling items made on site, and a whole schedule of classes people can join in with.
The Makers Quarter co-founders Sophie and Stephen met at the University of Manchester 18 years ago and soon started their first business, restoring vintage furniture.
Sophie said: “Our intention for Makers Quarter Kampus is to give the creatives of Manchester a permanent city centre home.
“Space to design, create, make, teach, learn and sell – somewhere to settle in and be proud of. With the studios upstairs, shared facilities, classes, a concept store and deli downstairs, it will have a really creative buzz about the place, we can’t wait!
“People are becoming more mindful of the products they buy and we want our concept store ‘Kolab’ to support this. Visitors will have a destination where they know every product on the shelf supports a local or independent business, hand-made and carefully curated.”
Stephen said: “We also want to encourage an interactive shopping experience so visitors can not only come to shop for homewares they can create them. Set alongside the other independent brands housed at Kampus we couldn’t be in better company.”
Makers Quarter at Kampus, planned to open later this year, is set to feature:
Design and Maker Studios: For monthly rental and perfect for hands-on crafts like Art, Photography, Pottery, Upholstery, product making or more digital and design-led businesses. The first floor member studios will bring together like-minded creatives and provide access to shared machinery and tech including 3D printers and laser cutters.
The studio members will also have access to all the equipment downstairs including kilns, potter’s wheels, screen printing facilities, a textiles room and much more.
Pay-As-You-Go Workbenches: A creative take on co-working space, with the option of ad-hoc use on a membership basis accessing various equipment and facilities. This will be booked via an online system.
MQ Classes: A full programme of classes for visitors, including ceramic workshops run by local experts at eight pottery wheels; upholstery classes; jewellery making; candle-making workshops and many more.
Coffee Shop, Deli and Concept Store: A bustling coffee shop at the Makers Quarter entrance with views into the makerspace and ever-evolving Gallery exhibiting local artists’ work. The coffee shop will neighbour the concept store, selling hand-made collections from a variety of independent makers including interior finishes, furniture, candles, textiles and art.
It joins local businesses like Nell’s, Pollen Bakery, and Yum Cha, in the £250m Kampus neighbourhood that’s home to more than 500 apartments across five buildings.
Adam Higgins, co-founder at Capital&Centric, said: “We promised an eclectic melting pot of indie businesses at Kampus and we’re proud of how it’s shaping up. Makers Quarter will be a sterling addition to the line-up and the first of a kind in Manchester – a haven for creatives who want to collaborate.
“It’ll brilliant to welcome artists, potters, furniture-makers and an army of creative talent to new, modern workspaces in the heart of the city, set right alongside the foodie offer from the much-loved neighbours.”
Featured image: Hobbs & Mason: www.hobbsandmason.co.uk / Photorealistic Visualisation by – HeJ Hey Studio @hej.hey.studio // www.hejhey.com
Art & Culture
Corn Exchange has a cute new vending machine strictly for pre-loved books
Every now and again we stumble across a clever little idea and we think ‘why hasn’t someone thought of this idea before?’ That was definitely the case when heard about Corn Exchange’s new vending machine for books.
Having appeared in the popular city centre food hall and trader spot only earlier this week, most people might be unaware of the Corn Exchange‘s fun new initiative and some people might have walked straight past it without noticing what’s actually in it — yet another reason we love stuff like this.
The concept is called ‘Read. Swap. Repeat.’ and the idea is to not only keep people reading when they come into the city or are perhaps staying here in the likes of the Corn Exchange, but also to provide a home for pre-loved books with an added incentive.
It’s a great little idea, isn’t it? You even get a free bookmark for your trouble.
As you can see, all you need to use the vending machine is to bring a book with you, ask a member of staff for a token and then select which generously donated second-hand read you want to select for yourself.
Beyond just being a cool and interesting way to entertain local book lovers and hopefully get more people reading again, it’s also good for the environment as it provides yet another outlet for people to donate their old texts without any waste.
So, if you’re looking for a new read or looking to share one of your favourite old books with someone else, why not give it a try?
Manchester to be filled with fresh blooms as annual Flower Festival returns this summer
Manchester is set to become one of the most picturesque places in the UK this summer, as the city gets dressed up in celebration of the annual Flower Show.
Back by popular demand for its fifth year, the four-day festival – which is often dubbed the “most Instagramable event of the year” – will see Manchester bloom to life and be draped from head to toe in magnificent floral displays.
Plants and flowers will be seen covering landmark buildings, shop windows, doorways, balconies, statues, fountains, and more right across the city centre.
Taking place over the late May bank holiday, festival organisers say to expect a “fabulous floral spectacle” – with a dedicated ‘Manchester in Flowers’ floral trail gearing up to be the star of this year’s show, and several other stunning show gardens and green installations all set to weave through central streets.
Organised annually by Manchester BID, the festival usually sees tens of thousands of people flock to the city centre – and this year will be no different.
With the event now only a few months away, festival organisers are on the hunt for budding and professional gardeners, florists, landscapers, businesses, charities, community groups, and schools across the region to be part of the celebrations.
Manchester Flower Festival is known for offering both seasoned and aspiring gardeners the chance to showcase their talent, while helping to create “a unique floriated experience across the city” – with opportunities open this year to lend a hand with large-scale headline gardens and displays, floristry displays, and smaller ‘Bijou’ gardens.
Local traders can also sign-up to sell the Festival Market, which will feature everything from plants, and produce, to garden decor, street food, art, and so much more.
Businesses in the city centre are also being encouraged to show their support for the festival by creating window, building, or in-store displays, and hosting dedicated events, and food and drinks specials.
Volunteers are also needed to help at this year’s event, with festival organisers promising the chance to “gain valuable experience” and enjoy being part of the team at one of the city’s annual flagship events.
Find out more about Manchester Flower Festival 2023 here.