LGBT Centre Feasibility Study

We have been commissioned by LGBT Youth North West to carry out a Feasibility Study for the refurbishment and possible extension of the LGBT Centre on Sidney Street in Manchester. This is part of a wider project for the centre looking at taking on a long-term lease for the building from the City Council. The building was constructed in 1988 and is in need of improvements to make the fabric more energy efficient so that services can continue to be delivered. As part of the design process we will be carrying out some engagement activities over the next few months including a walking tour looking at the history of the centre, which was the first entirely publicly-funded, purpose-built Gay Centre in Europe.

We are working alongside HL Engineers for structral advice and Modero for cost advice.

Project blog

16.12.2015, 12:21
LGBT Centre: Public Consultation

Thanks to everyone who attended last night's consultation event at the Centre. If you couldn't make it there is still time to take a look and comment on the proposals!

Since 2013, The Proud Trust has been looking at their existing building and assessing different options for expanding the building. The design of the foundations makes it impossible to add additional floors to the existing centre. So the group has taken the decision to demolish and build a new centre. Last night we were pleased to show the proposals for a new centre. If you are interested please take a look at the boards in the download section.

We are aiming to put in a planning application for the new building in January 2016 and need your help and support. Please fill in this survey to let us have your feedback on the design.

08.12.2015, 12:21
LGBT Centre - Public Consultation Event

We would like to invite you to come and take a look at the proposals for the new LGBT Centre. On 15th December we will be helping to explain the scheme at an event to display proposals for neighbours, users, staff and the public. Everyone is welcome to attend, you can drop in between 4.30 and 6.30pm. The proposals will then continue to be on display if you can't make it at that time.

The scheme design has been developed following many discussions with the different user groups, young people who use the centre, the centre staff and volunteers. This will be a chance to talk with Emily, the architect working on the scheme, ahead of the plans going into planning.

Please come along to view the plans and visuals of the new scheme and to provide much needed feedback on the designs. We are aiming to submit a planning application in January 2016.

Any queries please email the centre manager: Ali Hanbury.


15.09.2015, 15:32
LGBT Centre Aesthetics Workshop with Young People

The project has been quiet for a few months as the centre's staff have been in negotiations with the council regarding their lease and we have been compiling some technical information about the building and site. In September we held a short workshop with the Saturday youth group to get some ideas from the young people how they would like the building to look. We gave them loads of different images and asked them to pick ones they thought would be cool for the new building and ones which were uncool. They then stuck them up on the wall and we discussed the general themes. They thought a lot of the images were uncool! But they generally liked timber cladding and the use of some colour (but not too much!) on the facade.


10.03.2015, 10:58
LGBT Centre Briefing Workshop

In March 2015 we held a briefing workshop with representatives of the user groups who rent and use the existing building. The workshop aimed to explore and test ideas for the building - what spaces it might contain, who might visit and how the centre might be usedin the future, as well as how it should feel as a place.


Participants used coloured card to plan the new centre.

They had to think about all the different user groups who use the centre

Participants debating the potential layout

The workshop took place in the existing centre.



20.02.2015, 13:25
LGBT Centre Heritage Walking Tour

Emily was interested to learn about the existing building and carried out some research about the history of the existing LGBT Centre, using the resources at Archives+. She presented this history as a walking tour as part of the first annual LGBT History Festival in Manchester on February 14th 2015. 

The 1 hour walking tour tells the story of how Manchester became the first place to build an entirely publicly funded, purpose designed centre for the gay community, just as Thatcher’s government were enacting Section 28. 

Feel free to download the guide and carry out the tour yourself (for non-commercial, educational purposes only).

The brand new Gay Centre in 1988

16.01.2015, 10:55
LGBT Centre User Group Meeting and Press Release

Yesterday we attended the Centre's User Group meeting and presented some initial thoughts about refurbishing and extending the building. The group gave really interesting feedback bout the layouts and design strategy. It was good to have the opportunity to speak with a variety of users from the different  groups who use the centre. We are planning on visiting some existing Pupil Referral Units in Greater Manchester as well as some commercial kitchens to help inform the designs.

LGBT Youth North West, the organisation who manage the LGBT Centre, have issued a press release about receiving the funding for their feasibility study. The story has been picked up by mainstream newspapers and tabloids. The strategic director, Amelia Lee, was also interviewed on Radio 4's today programme this morning. You can read of the LGBT Centre's official press release here.

There will be a walking tour delivered in February as part of the LGBT History Festival on the history of the original centre's funding, design and construction centre, more details soon!