All of This and More – Miners Community Arts Centre
A group of local people in Moston, North Manchester got together five years ago to turn an ‘eyesore’ into a unique, vibrant place for the local community to come together and enjoy.
The Miners Community Arts and Music Centre known locally as ‘The Miners’ started life as a miner’s wash house before developing into a Working Men’s Club. When the club closed, the building was neglected and fell into disrepair for years.
Over the last few years local residents have got creative, gathered resources and shared their skills, transforming the run-down building into a multi-functional space for the local and wider community to use. People with building, decorating, painting, cooking and cleaning skills have all come together to create a safe environment for people to meet, socialise and enjoy.
In August 2016, an army of volunteer tradesmen completed a project to renovate a disused outdoor space. TradePoint, the trade-only arm of B&Q, sponsored the makeover and provided specialist advise and skills – donating all materials and gifts for the volunteers.
Joel Taylor and Chris Smith from Manchester Landscapers dedicated their time on the project on a voluntary basis, designing and project managing the build from start to finish. To take on the challenge, they were joined by local tradesmen volunteer Denis, along with his two sons, plus members of the community.
The new garden has an an area for children to grow their own vegetables whilst learning where they come from, and various charities, arts, music and youth groups will use the space for performances and meetings.
The Miners Community Arts and Community has been constantly evolving over the last five years. There’s now a community café, a function room with a stage, bars, art exhibition space, band rehearsal rooms, meeting rooms, games room, outside garden space and even a fully kitted out 70-seater cinema!
All of these amazing spaces, under one roof, bring a huge variety of people together. Local tradesmen call in for the morning brew and breakfast, local bands with big dreams rehearse and perform, football supporters gather for a pre-match pint, families celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and youngsters get together to watch their favourite films.
The centre is also used by a number of local community groups including disability groups, drama and arts groups, and faith groups. Functions and events are held in the main room including band and comedy nights, Northern Soul nights, Halloween parties and Christmas pantomimes.
Louis Beckett, who runs the centre, explains: “Starting the project was such a big thing but it was great to have all of the community involved. They own it, it’s now theirs. It has brought the community together, they now have somewhere to meet and enjoy and it’s great to see people coming together and creating a real buzz in Moston.”
The Miners is a true asset in the local community and exemplifies Forever Manchester’s belief that there are, ‘local people doing extraordinary things together.’
To add a bit of Mancunian flavour to these stories contained in the Great Manchester Storybook, all the headlines are taken from Manchester-related song titles.
All of This and More is a song by Inspiral Carpets, recorded in 1994.