Footballing legend kicks off celebration for new £500,000 North Manchester creative hub

The eye-catching mural at The Yard.

In a city not short of its footballing heroes a true legend of the game was on hand to open a new home for the creative minds of Manchester.

The Yard, a former Jewish school in Strangeways, has been brought back to life thanks to the investment from local entrepreneurs Mark and Jo Hamburger, Manchester City Council, and its partners.

Its state of the art facilities will provide aspiring fashion designers, artists, photographers, actors and more the space to grow their talent where in the past significant financial barriers would have stood in their way.

In a nod to Manchester’s industrial past, there will also be space for up and coming textile designers to start up businesses of their own, and continue a proud trade which shaped so much of Manchester’s history.

On hand to open the hub was former Newcastle United, Manchester City and England Manager Kevin Keegan. In his heyday he was most commonly seen slicing through defences, but at The Yard he opted to slice through a huge cake specially made by Rosie Dummer - aka Rosie Cake Diva.

Kevin Keegan with Cllr Nigel Murphy

Development of The Yard stretches back to 2014 when the first steps were made to transform the space. Seeing an opportunity to give talented young Mancunians somewhere to develop, Mark and Jo Hamburger invested heavily in the project, working with Manchester City Council to harness the potential of the area.

During the launch event there were performances from Mancunian artists, as well as a poetry reading by Terry Caffrey and an appearance by Tony Walsh (Longfella).
Other special guests included Manchester City great Dennis Tueart and former Stone Roses guitarist Aziz Ibrahim.

Dennis Tueart and Kevin Keegan

Inside The Yard there is gallery and performance space, a sound and recording studio, and work space open to fashion designers and photographers.

The Yard also offers flexible, low cost, hot desking and co-working space for new start-up businesses. With super fast broadband and the ability to network and interact with creative, like minded people in a vibrant business district, The Yard is a completely new offer for Manchester residents in this area.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “After seeing so much effort put into The Yard over so many years it is truly a proud moment to see it finally completed
“Some of the greatest musicians, artists, photographers, painters and poets have come from Manchester and it would be a huge failing not to do everything in our power to foster the next generation of talent.
“Mark’s plan to transform this space into one befitting that cause has not been an easy one, but after seeing the fruit of our collective labour it is fair to say all expectations of been exceeded.
“I am hugely excited to see the first tentative steps of this project, and look forward to what the residents of The Yard will be able to create given the right opportunity.”

Aerial view of The Yard's interior.

Owners of The Yard, Jo and Mark Hamburger.

Poets Terry Caffrey and Tony Wash.


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