Last night was a huge success, I was really pleased to see so many people come along and say hi, meet the artists and find out about the programme. I really feel I have the support of the local people and infrastructure that delivering Buddleia in Cheetham Hill and North Manchester is going to be a good thing.

We had just the right amount of people throughout the evening to make the place feel full and buzzy the whole time with a great mix of new and old faces and friends. Thank you all for coming along and showing your support.

I would like to thank for helping me  set things up over the last few weeks and deliver on the day:

Georgie and Libby, James White, Rachel Plumb, Pete Masters, Brian Hartley.  Artists Alison Kershaw, Jai Redman, Neville Gabie , Akimyemi Oludele and Joe Wood.


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Neville in the news

Just in case you didn’t get to see this on the news recently here is a link to the piece of NW tonight on Neville Gabie and his soon to be exhibited iceberg  for the Tatton Biennial

The Tatton Biennial is from the 8 May and worth a visit.

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Preparations are beginning to take place for our launch next week, 29 April from 5-7pm. There won’t be a lot going on in the space as much as an opportunity to find out more about the project and meet some of the artists we are working with. It should be fun.

Both Alison and Jai have set up blogs on their work and in particular their research in Cheetham Hill check out them out:



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Secret Garden – Irk Valley Walk

Saturday 10 April was Buddleia’s first event in Cheetham Hill. Led by Joe Wood, the Secret Garden, Irk Valley Walk was a meander along the irk valley  ending up in Angel Meadows on the very edge of town. Blessed with the best day of the year so far the group of intrepid walkers left the Buddleia space at 11am to discover parts of Cheetham Hill and its surrounding areas we all had never been to before.

Joe has been researching this area as part of Architecture Degree at MMU and so had a good knowledge of the area and route. Joe has developed two walks which we have printed up in a leaflet if anyone would like a copy then please let me know.

Throughout the walk we discussed the possibilities and potential of the areas we came across. I was particularly excited to find a huge bank of brambles  –  a blackberry picking session will certainly be on the cards.

Thank you again for all who come along and took part and thanks again to Joe for leading us. I am in discussion with Joe about doing on his second walk maybe later in May or early June, he has a small matter of his dissertation to think about before then – but if we do more info soon.

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First Event this Saturday 10 April

Lovely Easter break and all that, but what with getting the space only last week we have had only less than one week to promote our first event which happens this Saturday.

Recent Architecture Graduate Joe Woods has been studying the derelict and underused spaces in and around Cheetham Hill as part of his final year project. It seems a perfect opportunity to utilise this new found knowledge as part of our first public exploration into the area. Joe’s Secret Garden Walk  – as named by the famous title by the the author Margaret Hodgekinson who was from Cheetham Hill –  is an opportunity to explore the unappreciated countryside to be found in the Cheetham Hill as so far discovered by Joe and his research.

Starting at 11am this Saturday from the Buddleia Space the walk should take about 2hrs. A poster and guide to the walk is available.

See you Saturuday.

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573 Cheetham Hill Road, Buddleia Space

At last we have a space! The lease has been agreed the rent has been paid and Buddleia now has a temporary space on Cheetham Hill Road for the next three months. I can’t tell you how relieved and elated I am that this project is finally coming together …I was seriously thinking of plan B,C and D.

The address to be exact is Basement, 573 Cheetham Hill Road, M8 9JE. It is the basement of Premiere Newsagents which is opposite the derelict library.

From next week and when I get some furniture in there, I will be there as much as possible, so please come by and see what we are up to. We also plan to have a launch on Thursday 29th April from 5-7pm, come by and say hello.

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The saga continues

Anyone who has known about this project over the last few months has known that my biggest frustration has been not being able to secure a location to run this project from.

My initial proposal and the basis of my funding was to temporarily take over an empty shop unit along Cheetham Hill/ Bury Old Road so the project was located at the heart of the activity and street life of the area. My first sights were on Woolworths, not only a fantastic location but also an icon of the recession. I quickly discovered that shops in do not stay empty for very long in Cheetham Hill, although the Woolworth’s site is still unoccupied the incoming tenants are not far off.

This has become quite an interesting misconception of mine about the area and the state of the micro economy for this part of town. Shop spaces are in demand and not only that, the ones that are available are charging extortionate high rents or are simply not interested in a three month artist led community project funded by the council.Things – it would seem – are booming.

So after approximately 5 months of disappointments, knock backs and mild panic I think I have finally located a space which the landlord has agreed for a three month tenancy. The deal is not signed or sealed yet, but its the closest I have come in whole time I have been searching. If the lease is agreed – and I can’t see how it couldn’t be- I will find out on Monday.


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