Plans have been revealed to create a new business community using hundreds of old shipping containers in the Ancoats area of Manchester city centre. Property management firm, Meanwhile Creative, plan to create a complex of 300 converted containers on a derelict two-acre plot on Pollard Street East.

Meanwhile Creative obtains dormant commercial space and turns it into flexible, affordable workspace for creatives, entrepreneurs and small businesses. The property firm currently operates nine other workplace sites in Bristol and Cardiff, supporting over 250 creative businesses and start-ups. Pollard Yard will be their first project in Manchester, providing much-needed, affordable studios and light industrial style workspaces close to the city centre.

Following the success of their container workspace in Cardiff, Meanwhile Creative started looking for new sites to launch a large scale container workspace project. Fred Wyatt, founder and MD of Meanwhile Creative, said “having trialled the concept in smaller cities, we found there was a real appetite for affordable spaces and Manchester with its rich industrial history was my dream location for our next move. Our aim is to support enterprise through providing inexpensive premises for businesses to flourish.”

Pollard Yard workspaces will offer flexible monthly rolling contracts, inclusive of all bills. Each container will be lined with chipboard and kitted out with plenty of power sockets, and fitted with a double patio door, providing plenty of natural light. 

By the end of the year, the project will open around 30 ready-to-move-into workspaces, on a site with a pretty basic set up as they put infrastructure in place. In 2019, they will be adding up to an additional 300 containers, as well as a dedicated event space and shared facilities.