New community arts centre and music venue coming to disused Cheetham Hill warehouse

Mancunia Arts Centre will provide resources free of charge for youngsters and those from underprivileged backgrounds to access the arts
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A new community arts centre is opening next month in Cheetham Hill.

Mancunia Arts Centre will house rehearsal rooms, a production studio, vocal booth, dining area, a games and networking room, and a small gig room of 100 capacity.

The new venue will employ people from the music community to give them the flexibility to work and create.

Rehearsal space will be open seven days a week, with fully kitted rooms including brand new PA systems and quality backlines as well as a social area and diner with pool tables and games for networking.

Studio space will be available for hire for various arts related activities, with production space available for freelancers, plus a small gig room for live performances.

MAC aims to create a positive social impact on the music community by providing resources free of charge for young people and those from underprivileged backgrounds to access the arts.

The centre will do this by providing equipment, rehearsal space and advice free to  youth groups and young bands from ages 11 to 15 on select days.

Its purpose is to encourage people to participate in the arts, while also providing the tools to do so.

“Some know, some don’t but for a very long time I have had a dream to build a community arts centre,” says founder Anton Pell, who has worked on the plan since the middle of the COVID pandemic.

“With a lack of support and funding during that time, I decided to work on a long standing ambition to create a community run arts centre: a social enterprise, self sustainable from the core business service we provide and allowing us to create programmes, provide support and resources free to encourage young people to participate in the arts. 

“Personally I feel really strongly about youngsters missing talent or skills development simply because they can’t access the tools and resources.”

Anton’s experience comes from owning previous venues, being a tour manager and a concert promoter, and he currently also has residencies in Manchester and a new online show for the arts called Mancunia TV.

Photo: Pete Wilky

Taking on a 10-year lease, Anton’s aim, together with his partners and colleagues MC Tunes, Dave Sweetmore, Chloe Green, visual team Audioface and sound team Crash Audio and Georgina Robinson, is to provide this platform and sustainability for their community based model for years to come.

Having secured the funding needed, they move into the building in Khalsa House, Cheetham Hill this Thursday and have a two-week fit out to install two rehearsal rooms, the small gig venue, the social area and production studio.

“The dream has become a reality and we open at the start of April, just a couple of weeks away,” said Anton. 

“It’s been a lot of work in the background to make this happen and not get carried away until it was set in stone! And now it is…

“I can’t thank everyone enough who has always stuck by me and our team and saw the value in what we always try to achieve, and that has always been to create opportunities.

“We can’t wait to get busy!”

Mancunia Arts Centre will open 2nd April at Khalsa House, Cheetham Hill.

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