Plant: community in the midst of change

When development sweeps through a city, it can sometimes feel like the people are lost along the way. But in a corner of Manchester, Plant — a workshop-cum-gallery-cum-village hall — is keeping the community spirit alive

Manchester, as you are likely aware, is in the grip of rapid development. Cranes fill the skylines across the city, and new neighbourhoods are springing up, seemingly fully formed, complete with flats, cultural centres and names like St John’s and NOMA, which sound like they could have been around forever.

It is exciting times, but such rapid gentrification can bring difficulties for long-term inhabitants of the city, as areas become more expensive to live in and can appear to change radically almost overnight.

The companies behind developments such as these often seem corporate and faceless – and impossible to have a dialogue with. Yet in NOMA – an £800-million, 20-acre development that will bring new shops, restaurants and offices to the north of Manchester – there is an element of reaching out going on.

NOMA is backed by Hermes Real Estate and the Co-operative Group (which has a long history in the area), and has been working with the company OH OK Ltd to actively draw communities – both local and across Manchester – to engage with the neighbourhood.


Milton Keynes