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Pollard Yard Design Studio Manchester


Okay so, if you know me even the slightest bit, you've probably been listening to me ramble on for months about my new design studio in Manchester. Well in June 2019, the time came for Meanwhile Creative, the creators of Pollard Yard, to hand over the keys to a very eager and inspired me - woop woop! 

In this post I'll show you more about the Pollard Yard project and inside my shiny new studio...

Outside the space, Pollard Yard June 2019 - a work in progress

About Pollard Yard

Situated next door to Wellington Mill and Ashton Canal, on Pollard Street East (Manchester), Pollard Yard is a busy hub of creatives and independent businesses. Converted shipping containers provide the perfect space for studios and offices and you can find me in Unit 16. I share the space with my friends Woolgather Films - the incredibly talented filmmakers. 

Here's a snippet from Meanwhile Creative about their plans for Pollard Yard:

Our goal: To establish one of Manchester’s biggest creative co-working communities, and give hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs, creatives and small businesses the space they need to grow. 

Launched: June 2019

Location: Pollard Street East, Manchester. The site neighbours hip Ancoats and New Islington, and is a 20 minute walk from the city centre along the canal.

The project: Our first Meanwhile Manchester project provides much-needed, affordable studios and light industrial style workspaces very near to the centre of Manchester in converted shipping containers.

Around 30 ready-to-move-into pilot project spaces launched in June 2019, on a site with a pretty basic set up as we start to put infrastructure in place. We also made the rest of the land available to local event, festival and market organisers in need of outdoor space in central Manchester.

Later in 2019, we’ll go big. We’ll be adding up to another 200 affordable container workspaces, alongside investing more heavily in the site, shared facilities and breakout space.

Pollard Yard Plan

(Read more on the Meanwhile Creative blog)

Originally enquiring in Autumn 2018, moving into our own unit felt like it was a long time coming. I absolutely love my work although I'm not afraid to admit that it started to feel like the 4 walls of my house were closing in each day I worked from home! Also, did you know that if you work from home you can find lots of distractions to keep you away from the important stuff? 😉

Moving In

On the 11th June 2019, Max and the team at Meanwhile Creative presented us the keys and Joel (1/3 of Woolgather Films) and I headed out for supplies. We had a colourful and abstract idea in mind for the end wall and I have to say painting this was extremely therapeutic. Here's an image showing our progress over the two days we spent making our unit fit for four young creatives to work from. 

Painting GEM Design Studio / Pollard Yard Manchester

From naked walls to freshly painted - perfect! Inside GEM Design Studio @ Pollard Yard

The Community

Since moving in I've met, and made friends with, so many of business owners and solopreneurs - I'm extremely proud to be a part of this diverse creative community. Besides from my own graphic design services and Woolgather's filmmaking, there are an array of different businesses and people here. Our neighbours consist of a guitar teacher, badge maker, lash bar and mushroom farm and that's just our direct neighbours! Strolling just outside of the yard, you have Wellington House which is jam packed full of creatives just like Pollard Yard - not forgetting that Ancoats is on our doorstep, the 'hip' and up and coming place to be in Manchester. 

The Future

Meanwhile Creative have so many plans for the future of Pollard Yard and I feel very lucky to be a part of this expanding, busy and bustling hub. As for the future for myself and GEM Design Studio, my diary is filling up with lots of fantastic projects and I too have lots of exciting ideas of my own. Keep your eyes peeled for new services and other fun stuff from me. Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date. 


Owner of GEM Design Studio and Founder of The Ladies Who Trade, Gemma is a graphic designer specialising in logo design and brand identity for small and independent businesses. Gemma loves cheese, fonts and supporting her fellow women in business.

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