300 shipping container workspaces set to transform Ancoats wasteland

Meanwhile Creative in talks to launch small-business hub in Manchester

By Steven Pankhurst | Last updated 3 December 2018

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Meanwhile Creative, the Bristol-based property management firm, are looking to transform a two-acre plot of derelict land in Manchester, just outside Ancoats, into a hub for small and independent businesses. 

They propose to provide thirty ready-to-work shipping containers for local entrepreneurs, sole traders and creatives, offering affordable workspaces for the Manchester community.

A £1m investment into the project and plans for an additional 250 container workspaces in the pipeline for the new year, would be a significant investment into Ancoats, one of The Times ‘20 coolest places to live*.

This development would aim to build upon the rich industrial heritage of the area and respond to the demand for more affordable workspace in the area. Pollard Yard aims to be one of the biggest creative and small business community hubs in Manchester.

Already operating nine other affordable shared workspace sites in Bristol and Cardiff, Meanwhile Creative currently provides low-cost studio and office space to over 250 businesses, enabling the employment of upwards of 1,250 people.

Meanwhile Creative’s first Manchester venture hopes to more than double these figures, making it their most ambitious endeavour to date.  

Pollard Yard workspaces will offer flexible monthly rolling contracts, enabling fledgling businesses to progress to the next stage of their development without the usual brick and mortar costs or lengthy contracts.

The first Pollard Yard containers will cost just £160 a month – among the lowest rates in Manchester – and so are expected to fill quickly with those in need of affordable, light industrial workspace.

The proposal has attracted strong initial interest from micro-enterprise, entrepreneurs, traders and creative freelancers looking to be part of a supportive, grass-roots, creative community in the heart of Manchester.

Meanwhile Creative want to maximise positive use of the site, a 2-acre plot on Pollard Street East, which was previously a wasteland.

As well providing new workspaces, they are also looking for expressions of interests from event organisers, community projects, programmers and producers looking for open-air event and filming space near Ancoats.

The first Pollard Yard open day is planned to run on 29th November.  This first look will give prospective tenants and event organisers the opportunity to view and sign up for pilot project container workspaces, explore the site and learn more about plans for the full-scale Pollard Yard development.