When in The Place on Platt Lane it is difficult to believe that just two years ago, then known simply as Fallowfield library, it was due to be closed down by Manchester City Council because of government cuts to funding.
Lil Luckett and Cath Clarke are two Fallowfield residents who have used the library since they were small children. They were outraged at the impending closure and so did joined forces to do something about it and save the building.
Creating Friends of Fallowfield, they worked closely with City South Manchester and made Manchester City Council take note.
After months of legal battles, public consultations and peaceful protests today the library is the centre of the community where as well as books you can rent a swanky new space for your business, bring your children to dance or playtime classes or simply get some peace. It is funded by charity and aside from a core team of paid staff it is run by volunteers.
“Bit by bit our team has grown and we now have a very strong network of people with connections in different areas, meaning that when it comes to the legal side of things we’re unstoppable!” says Cath.
People from all walks of life come to use The Place, from non-English speaking people new to the area to the elderly who would otherwise be at risk of social isolation, there is something for everyone.
“The sense of community is well on its way back and that’s thanks to this place.”