IN ITS heyday, London Road Fire Station was the bedrock of Manchester’s community: housing a busy fire station, a bank and a coroner's court to name but a few. Many of the firemen and their families even called the station home, while its wartime efforts as a training centre saw the Edwardian edifice receive a royal visit.
Events at London Road have been curated to create an experience like no other...
However, it became too expensive to run and was closed in 1986. At the neglectful hands of Britannia Hotels, like a fallen celebrity, deterioration set in and its lively past became a distant memory - until now.
Following a compulsory purchase order by the council, the station was sold to Allied London in November 2015 and the property firm is determined to rekindle its status as a fully-functioning Manchester landmark (more here).
'Made Here' is the developer's first initiative: a series of pop-up events that showcase the finest local designers, makers and creators - and offer a chance to marvel at the Baroque building’s heritage features - before redevelopment works begin later this year.
London Road Fire Station
Manchester-based design studio Lazerian will be in attendance
The market-meets-festival kicks off on 10 September (the initial August date was postponed), with 25 hand-picked designers spanning fashion to homeware to handcrafted leather goods from JS-Y Leatherworks. Simon Buckley will be there with Not Quite Light, his stunning pre-dawn photography, and browsers will have a scoot with Salford-engineered Swifty Scooters.
Visitors can also find the likes of: Lazerian, the creative practise responsible for B.EAT Street’s T-Rex; Hand Studio, who debuted their packable paper table collection at Milan Design Week; and Name and Colour, whose beautiful sculptures also transcend perceived boundaries of paper. Other artists include S L Scott, with her bold skyline graphics, conceptual printer-filmmaker Vincent Bernier and illustrator Lydia Meiying.
Traders like The Glass Gardener, Mcr Mosaics and Kasia Mackowiak - along with furniture specialists Oliver Scholes and Loose Button - will be providing plenty of interior inspiration, whilst Lisson + Muster and Jo&Co should appeal to dapper gents.
But what would a great event be without some great nosh to line the stomach? Enter hot food from Alty Market favourites Honest Crust Pizza, meat mavericks Well Hung and Indian cooking street food newcomers Vaso Kitchen.
Fresh produce, meanwhile, comprises Noone’s Victorian fruit and veg cart, Dormouse chocolatiers, Trove bakery and the Milk Jam musketeers (Bakerorama, Gingers Comfort and Lush Brownies). The bar will be hosted by Cave Direct, featuring local breweries including Track and Alphabet Brewing Co.
The market will take place in the Engine Room
Kinetic art from Name and Colour
Manchester’s longest-running weekly club night, Funkademia, will provide the soundtrack; along with live performances from Liam Frost, Slow Readers Club, Feed The Kid, Foxtales, Saytr Play and Stillia.
Lucy Noone, from Allied London, said: “Events at London Road have been curated to create an experience like no other that will invite the public in and reinvigorate this space. We are re-building the community here with a programme of events and opportunities for distinctive and entrepreneurial businesses that will provide service, quality, design and an experience at Manchester’s new gateway.”
Event organiser Jamie Scahill said: “Made Here is going to be the first ever event to happen at this iconic building so we’re really honoured to be working with Allied London to make it happen. Manchester has an amazing history of creativity and design and we think it’s important to recognise and promote this.”
Made Here will be at London Road Fire Station on 10 September from, 11am-9pm. Follow @wearemadehere for more.