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New ‘hobby house’ launches in Manchester city centre

Manchester’s growing neighbourhood, NOMA, is launching a new concept, Altogether Otherwise, offering an exciting free-to-attend calendar of workshops and events.

Altogether Otherwise is a ‘hobby house’ providing welcome relief from the fast paced, demanding culture that we’ve all become so used to. It’s a place to pursue creativity and explore new activities whilst bumping into like-minded people in an ever-changing workshop, store and gathering spaces.

A former disused printing house on Hanover Street in NOMA has been transformed into 6,500 sq. ft. community space which will be open daily to the public. Visitors can step straight off the pavement in to a welcoming, front-of-house shop or through into a large workshop offering endless possibilities for making and meeting. There will also be a larger, ‘village hall’ style space, which will host participatory events and activities.

Participants can try their hand at a range of activities including cooking, wood whittling, gardening, join a club or even start their own, with something happening every day of the week. In line with the neighbourhood approach, locals are welcomed to pitch an idea or start their own club, to bring the community together.

Upcoming events include:

  • THE THROW AWAYS – A wheel thrown pottery pop in
  • WOOD NOT WORK – Whittle the week away
  • MINDLESS MUSHROOM HOUR – Mushroom growing club led by NOMA residents Stockport Fungi
  • FOOD TASTE GOOD – A cookbook club, with food
  • EVENING GARDENING CLUB – Led by PLANT gardeners, every week we nurture the neighbourhood in NOMA
  • SPIRALLING CRAFT SOCIAL – A yarn-based craft meet up
  • EAT THE FROG – A running club
  • READ RAD BOOKS – A radical book club
  • WAVY WOOL CLUB – A friendly workshop making objects using surplus wool gleaned from farms in the North West
  • THE FINAL FRIDAYS – Walking, drawing and investigating with artist and educator Neil Greenhalgh

This is the latest venture for creative urbanist Ben Young, and a culmination of 10 years driving a participatory neighbourhood-led approach at NOMA which include ‘the pub that Manchester built’, the Old Bank Residency and city gardening project Plant.

Ben Young said: “Altogether Otherwise provides an escape from the results- orientated efficiency that has infiltrated every part of our lives. We’re providing a place to simply be, without having to justify or account for ourselves.  The hobbies we encourage are free-wheeling pursuits of aimless pleasure which act as a much- needed salve for a world dominated by achievement.

“I’m delighted to be launching this in the NOMA neighbourhood, a place which has always embraced the spirit of participation and isn’t afraid to think outside the box.”

Dominique Murray, Head of Customer Experience and Marketing at MEPC, said: “We can’t wait to see people enjoying this new space in Manchester – a place like no other, where people can take time out from the everyday pressures of life and to connect while sharing new experiences, or even by sharing their own passions by starting their own club.

“The introduction of the Altogether Otherwise hobby space at NOMA will be a great asset not just at NOMA but for the wider city. Creating opportunities every day of the week for anyone that wants to get involved and feel part of Manchester’s growing neighbourhood.”

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Ben Young and Altogether Otherwise

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About NOMA NOMA is a future-facing, community-focused mixed used neighbourhood in the heart of Manchester city centre. Rich in heritage, it’s a diverse place of endeavour, enterprise and cooperation. It’s where stunning listed buildings meet industry-leading sustainable modern collaborative workspaces. Spanning 20-acres NOMA is brilliantly connected to the city’s transport network and digital ecosystem. It’s delivering new green space and public realm for the city, underpinned by a forward-thinking, neighbourhood-led approach to development that champions the idea that places are better when people are at the heart of them. See Delivered by leading real estate asset manager and developer MEPC, NOMA’s latest development, 4 Angel Square, completed in June 2023. Designed by SimpsonHaugh the 11-storey building will set a new standard for sustainability in the city with 200,000 sq ft of Grade A space – the first net zero carbon operational office in the North. About MEPC MEPC, which is wholly-owned by Federated Hermes, has been a prominent name in UK commercial property for 70 years, with an outstanding track record of responsible development and management of large Business Estates and urban regeneration projects. About Altogether Otherwise Altogether Otherwise is a hobby house. A place that celebrates the sheer restorative joy doing things for fun. We specialise in aimless pursuits that will help you to lose track of time. Join a club or start your own. More information at

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