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Take a look at our campaign programme of events over the next few months.

Since April, we have been running creative consultation groups with a range of community and charity groups from across the city, engaging them in policymaking and local politics with fun and visual arts activities.

In September, we gathered young creatives living in Manchester at a Changemaker Meet-up. Individuals came together to make protest banners, reflect on foodbank stories, design Piccadilly Gardens and listen to local musicians. Read more here.

In October, we ran the People's Takeover of Piccadilly Gardens. We took our campaign to the heart of the public square, giving Mancunians a chance to be part of a new conversation, engaging the public in our work striving for a more inclusive vision of Manchester's public spaces. We had workshops, events, tours and podcasts going on throughout the day. Take a look at what happened here.

In December, we will be gathering our community groups, partners and the public together in a Town Hall event to discuss our findings so far and create a manifesto for our demands for inclusive public space. 

In February, we will be presenting our manifesto and campaign findings to Manchester City Council in a creative exhibition and discussion event. 



Scroll for more information about our events.




In October, we brought the action to the heart of our campaign, for a People's Takeover of Piccadilly Gardens. 

With a whole day of creative activity to get involved with, we had an incredible turn-out of local people interested in making our city spaces better for all. 

Throughout the day we set up camp next to the play park, behind the Queen Victoria statue, sitting on our foodbank crates, meeting with families, friends, and individuals of all ages using the square, taking part in fun, creative activities to "Redesign Piccadilly Gardens", write manifestos for change, and record interviews about public spaces and inequalities in our city for our podcast. These activities started getting people engaged in important policymaking decisions, but in a fun and accessible way.

At 11am we had Invisible (Manchester) along for a free alternative tour of the centre, seeing the city through the eyes of those with experiences of homelessness.  It was great to join their guide Danny on his tour, combining his love for poetry and Manchester's public spaces.

At 1pm, artist and architectural designer Freya Bruce led us in a Sketch Walk around the square. This allowed the group to take stock of the smaller things, taking rubbings and etchings of details, sketching out protestors and people, and tracing the skyline. 

At 2pm, we gathered in the centre for a Discussion Circle, led by Matt Stallard from Manchester Central Foodbank with Andy from Invisible Manchester and Morag Rose from the Loiterers Resistance Movement. We had some incredible questions and statements from our group in an energetic and spirited discussion on inequalities in public space. Followed by a post-discussion group in the Northern Quarter, a chance to continue the conversation over food. 

It was great to start new conversations in fun, creative, and engaging ways about the inequalities in our city and how public spaces can challenge them as well as being accessible and enriching for everyone. People reflected passionately and thoughtfully about the changes we need to make as we come out of this pandemic and look to the future. This is the beginning of our campaign for change. 

Take a look at our Sketch Walk map, filled with drawings created throughout the day. You can zoom in and click on pin-points to see some of the drawings created, whether these were rubbings of tiny details, capturing people in action or tracing the skyline.



On Thursday 30th September 2021, young creatives from across Manchester met at Hatch to prepare for Placemaking Piccadilly - the People’s Takeover of Piccadilly Gardens; creating a new vision for the square that’s inclusive to all.

The night was great fun, with people coming down to get involved with creative activities for social change, reflecting on the stories of people using foodbanks and listening to the tunes of local musicians. 



We made banners with our demands for Piccadilly Gardens, taking them down to the square on our People's Takeover event in October. Some people went so far as to write poetry banners! 


Ever thought about what you’d do if you were in charge of the city? We received some excellent drawings with ideas for the city centre, and hung them up around Hatch for all to see!


Our campaign with Manchester Central Foodbank works to share and platform the stories of people using foodbanks. We want to create a genuine conversation about poverty in Manchester, so people had the opportunity to reflect on foodbank testimonials from our Can You Hear Me Now? archive.


We were joined by Dr Fabola with his rootsy folk, world music and jazz, Olivia Browse's bubblegum pop rock and feminist DJ Pussy Stamina bringing the energy.


What better way to meet likeminded young people who care about creating social change? It was great to see people who had never previously met, chat and make friends over their passions.




In December, we will be gathering our community groups, partners and the public together in a Town Hall event to discuss our findings so far and create a manifesto for our demands for inclusive public space. 

In February, we will be presenting our manifesto and campaign findings to Manchester City Council in a creative exhibition and discussion event. 

Public spaces are an essential and often neglected part of our city. They are spaces for enjoyment and enrichment of individual and public life. They are the spaces where conversations happen between citizens and where the things we stand for can be seen and heard most clearly. As we bring more people together from across Manchester to come up with proposals and ideas for the future, some of questions we will be asking include:

> How do we create high quality spaces that enrich wellbeing, health, and the cultural life of everyone, particular those on the lowest incomes?

> How can public spaces be used to challenge inequalities?

> How can we foster a spirit of conversation in the public square?

> And how do we ensure people from across the city, and particularly those facing barriers to accessing public space, digital resources, and traditional public consultation can contribute to designing spaces and activities?

After over a decade of austerity and cuts to public services, many of the people we have spoken to have been left feeling exasperated and unsure how we can make changes for the better. Through Placemaking Piccadilly, we aim to find new channels for voices, engaging people in policymaking in fun and creative activities.


We are excited to bring together everyone involved in the campaign to work together and create public spaces that challenge inequalities.

To keep up to date with our campaign and be involved in future events please subscribe to our newsletter here.