A creative workspace for local artists, charities and community groups has been opened by FORE Partnership at 24 Mount Street, the former London Scottish headquarters.
The space has been handed over while plans are developed for the future of the property, which is located in the heart of Manchester’s Civic Quarter and will set the bar for a new office concept.
Instead of allowing the property to stand empty, the 48,160 sq ft building now provides a range of collaborative work spaces for local Manchester organisations, including woodwork studio MCR Maker Space, circus workshop The Circus House, parent and baby theatre group Abooo and art-based community group Women and Hulme in Partnership (WHIP).
FORE has appointed innovative social enterprise 3Space to manage the creative workspace on its behalf.
Yesterday (Thursday 12 May) 24 Mount Street hosted the launch of Unit X, a 10-week project and exhibition spanning media, art and design undergraduate students from Manchester School of Art.
This is the first time the building has been occupied in almost seven years and the first time it has been used for an event of this kind, which featured live orchestral music composed by Peter Byrom-Smith to accompany animations created by the art students as part of the exhibition.
The innovative temporary use of 24 Mount Street strengthens links with the creative community and the city, enhancing the vibrancy and energy of this key, city-centre area.
Basil Demeroutis, Managing Partner of FORE, said: “At 24 Mount Street we want to create a working environment that inspires and brings people together. We’re really thrilled that the building is put to such good use while we develop our exciting plans and we’re delighted to be providing a free platform for so many talented local people.
“This kind of innovative use is part of our core “responsible investing” values that encompass traditional low carbon and sustainability, but also wider around place making, design, community and social responsibility. When completed, the building will contribute to the overall transformation of the Civic Quarter.”
Georgina Parker, Project Manager at 3Space Manchester, said: “At 3Space we are about turning empty spaces into opportunities, we are delighted to be working with FORE to create a collaborative, innovative and creative arena.
“The building is a fantastic space and right in the middle of the city centre’s art scene. The Unit X exhibition will add a new dimension to 24 Mount Street and we are delighted students selected the space as it demonstrates the flexibility of the building.”
FORE, the pan-European real estate investment platform for family offices and private investors, bought 24 Mount Street for £13m in December 2015.
Located next to The Midland Hotel and opposite Manchester Central, the building has planning consent for a 17-storey office. FORE plans to redevelop 24 Mount Street into a high-sustainable building, offering high quality office space combining a sense of community with flexible workspaces and cutting edge technology.