A Place to Simply Be: Manchester’s Altogether Otherwise ‘Hobby House’ Fosters Community and Creativity

Altogether Otherwise is a new community space in Manchester’s NOMA neighborhood that will offer creative workshops, gatherings, and hobby activities in a transformed printing house.

Manchester’s growing neighbourhood, NOMA, is launching a new concept, Altogether Otherwise, as developer and asset manager MEPC accelerates its commitment to social impact led placemaking.

Altogether Otherwise is a ‘hobby house’ providing relief from the fast paced, demanding culture that we’ve all become so used to. A place to pursue creativity and explore new activities whilst bumping in to like-minded people in an ever changing workshop, store and gathering spaces.

This is the latest venture for creative urbanist Ben Young, and a culmination of 10 years driving a participatory neighbourhood-led approach at NOMA which include ‘the pub that Manchester built’, the Old Bank Residency and city gardening project Plant.

A former disused printing house on Hanover Street has been transformed into 6,500 sq ft community space which will be open daily to the public, visitors can step straight off the pavement in to a welcoming, front-of -house shop or through into a large workshop offering endless possibilities for making and meeting. There will also be a larger, ‘village hall’ style space, which will host participatory events and activities.

Participants can try their hand at a range of activities including cooking, wood whittling, gardening, join a club or even start their own, with something happening every day of the week.

Ben Young said: “Altogether Otherwise provides an escape from the results-orientated efficiency that has infiltrated every part of our lives. We’re providing a place to simply be, without having to justify or account for ourselves. The hobbies we encourage are free-wheeling pursuits of aimless pleasure which act as a much-needed salve for a world dominated by achievement.

“I’m delighted to be launching this in the NOMA neighbourhood, a place which has always embraced the spirit of participation and isn’t afraid to think outside the box.”

Dominique Murray, Head of Customer Experience and Marketing at MEPC, said: “We have always strived to connect people to places in an authentic way.

Our social impact led approach to placemaking focuses on three key pillars – forging shared futures, building local connections and nurturing the living city.

“The introduction of the Altogether Otherwise hobby space at NOMA will be a great asset not just at NOMA but for the wider city. Creating opportunities every day of the week for anyone that wants to get involved and feel part of Manchester’s growing neighbourhood.”

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