NOW OPEN: Home to 30 Independent Artists, Manchester’s 40-year-old Craft Centre is BACK!

Support the independent makers of Manchester Craft when retail re-opens this month.

By Alex Watson | 20 April 2021

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For almost 40-years Manchester Craft & Design Centre has provided a home to some of the region’s most talented independent designers and makers. 

The venue houses textiles, jewellery, accessories, ceramics, glass, prints, homeware and much more. Each maker offers a unique shopping experience where you can meet them at work, watch them create one-of-a-kind pieces by hand and hear their stories and inspiration.

Dan Eden

Housed in a light and airy former Victorian fish and poultry market in the heart of the Northern Quarter, the Craft Centre still has some remaining original features such as the fishmongers’ booths on the ground floor.

Like many of the other independent shops in the Northern Quarter in the early 70s, the fish market closed in 1973 as the Arndale opened and the landscape of shopping shifted.

In 1982 the building opened its doors to the public once again, playing a massive part in the regeneration of the city’s independent quarter we all know and love. 

The centre remains as one of the last remaining Smithfield Market buildings, continuing to prop up independents and supporting the local economy.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre will be open Monday – Saturday from 10am – 5.30pm. You can get your independent maker fix by buying directly from their studios or you can explore a hugely historic building in Manchester for free.

Workshops and exhibitions will return when restrictions allow, keep an eye out for news over on their socials here.


6 Makers to Visit… 


Cragg Jones Clay
Cragg Jones Clay launched at the Centre in 2019. You’ll be able to see Nicky and Sue at the wheel in studio 19 handmaking all their ceramics. They’ve got everything from soap dishes to vases as well as plant pots, mugs and jugs. Keep an eye out for their workshops too!




If you’ve found yourself becoming a plant mom in lockdown – Andrea from &made creates cotton soft silo storage pockets that will perfectly store your plants giving them a pretty coat. &made launched in 2009, after Andrea trained as a model animator working on films such as Wind in the Willows and a costume maker for Postman Pat & Rupert Bear. Expect textiles, paper and wood.



Katherine Lees Ceramics
Taking over Studio 5 at the Craft Centre is Katherine Lees who specialises in handmade ceramics and jewellery. Katherine’s work is inspired by ‘curiosities’ and often features the likes of mushrooms, octopuses, birds and bees.



Helen Tiffany Glass
If you’ve not watched the glass blowing show on Netflix yet (Blown Away) – you need to. It’s where bake-off meets glass blowing and you’ll be amazed at the level of skill glass workers have. Helen specialises in screen printed glassware and enamelled silver creating colourful pieces for interiors and to wear.




Ella McIntosh
Established in 2012 at the Manchester Craft & Design Centre, Ella makes contemporary pewter for your home and table. Pewter is a mix of metals mainly consisting of tin and a touch of copper, she takes inspiration from the urban landscape and the mix of old and new in the northern mill towns she grew up in.



Fibre Designs
Fibre was founded at the Craft and Design Centre in 2003 by Jessica Livsey. Jessica specialises in framed textile pieces, handmade cards and more recently has developed a growing collection of semi-abstract seascape paintings. You’ll also find Patch-a-mamás eco friendly macrame in studio 19. There’s everything from plant hangers and bunting to handmade coasters and decorative wall hangers.



Manchester Craft & Design Centre