A Manchester community and culture hub is turning to the public for help as it crowdfunds for urgent repairs to the building’s roof.
The Miners Community Arts and Music Centre in Moston is trying to bring in £2,000 to do the vital work needed to fix the venue.
The Teddington Road centre is being run by Louis Beckett and Paula Helsby after they took over the building in 2010.
They have managed to turn a historic landmark in the Moston area, which dates back to the Victorian era and its time as a site in the mining industry, into a hub for grassroots arts and culture as well as providing everyday services for residents.
Why is the venue crowdfunding?
The crowdfunding page says the centre is in urgent need of work to its roof, having previously had temporary fixes.
The team at the venue wants to put pitched roofs everywhere they are currently flat.
The bid to bring in cash will go towards much-needed items such as timber, sheets, industrial-grade roof felt, bitumen paint, flashband, bitumen primer, screws and guttering.
A target of £2,000 has been set and £260 had been raised by the afternoon of Wednesday 27 April.
Louis said: “We’ve always had problems with the roof. It’s such a big building that the roof takes up most of our time and funds, just trying to keep the water out.
“This is the second crowdfunder we’ve done and we had a campaign to keep us going through Covid, which a lot of artists and musicians like Clint Boon played a part in.”
What is the Miners Community Arts and Music Centre?
The building, which is located opposite FC United of Manchester’s ground, is a storied Moston institution which dates back to the 1850s.
When there was a pit in the area the place served as a miners’ wash house and it was later a working men’s club.
When artist Louis and Paula got their hands on the building just over a decade ago it was, in Louis’ words, “a run-down, empty shell”, and they have been slowly restoring it and bringing it into community use ever since.
They built and opened a cafe and rented a room out to get revenue in.
They have since opened a small 70-seater cinema showing independent and children’s films and offering local talent somewhere to screen their work.
The centre also puts on live music, has a couple of bars, hosts art exhibitions and has an independent radio station calling it home.
The charity which runs it also collects food from local supermarkets which are donated to people requiring extra support in the Moston area.
Louis, who is from Newton Heath, first came across the building while searching for somewhere to have a small studio and says the project “developed into this massive thing” from there.
The centre has also scooped a number of awards including one from Pride of Manchester and another recognising inspirational community groups.