If you work in Manchester you’ve probably heard about Federation House or been there for one of the regular show and tells. But for those who haven’t, we wanted to give you a preview before it’s officially launched tomorrow by Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Preserving a bit of Co-op history

Federation House is a former Co-op building (a drapers) that we now co-own with NOMA, the scheme to redevelop the area around Victoria station. It’s been unused for ages because of issues with damp and the layout, but we’ve now refurbished it, so it’s great to see life being breathed back into this historic building.

At the moment some of the Digital team is based on the top two floors of Federation, but it’s much more than just a Co-op office –  it’s a co-working space where social enterprises and community businesses can come together and co-operate with us, and each other. Other tenants that share the building include NorthCoders, Big Lottery Fund, Thoughtworks and Foodinate.

A space for colleagues to use

Federation has meeting rooms, a cafe and a 200 capacity event space that Co-op colleagues and community organisations can use, for much cheaper than hiring external venues. It also has an auditorium where we host ‘show and tells’ that are open to all Co-op colleagues. You can find out about all our events and news in the Co-op Digital newsletter here on Tumblr.

A digital hub for the community

It’s early days yet, but we also have lots of big ideas for how the building can bring local community groups together and support and grow the northern tech industry. The Northern Powerhouse could bring lots of opportunities for growth and jobs in tech, and we want to put Manchester on the map as a place for digital innovation using co-operative principles. We’ll talk a lot more about these opportunities as they come up.

Thanks to everyone who has helped get Federation House up and running.

For now, here’s a sneak peek inside Federation:

Steve Foreshew-Cain

Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. Are there any spaces co-op colleagues can use for free in the building for small team meetings etc. when there is nothing available in 1AS?

    • Hi Simon. There’s the coffee shop on the ground floor – it isn’t bookable but you’ll likely find a table there. Meeting rooms aren’t really open to 1AS colleagues though, as that would cause a shortage for Digital colleagues and our tennants in the building.
      Thanks ^Lara

  2. It’s a shame the launch event couldn’t have been promoted to the GI side of the group.. Judging by the pictures on social media and the feedback from people in group who attended it was a really good event. Seeing as the site itself is also blocked on our internal email, it would be good to feel less excluded and more involved in things that the group are doing.

    • Hi Daniel. The event was mainly a thank you for the people who worked on getting the building ready, or who work in it. We did open up invites on our Twitter accounts (both Federation and Co-op Digital), but sadly only had capacity for 200.
      There are lots of events coming up that are open to anyone – you’ll find them via the Tumblr link above or on Co-op Digital’s Twitter account.
      Thanks for letting us know about the website – we’ve asked IT to unblock it.

  3. Any chance colleagues can actually get a pass to the building now?

    • Hi Chris,
      All Co-op colleagues are welcome – just come along to Federation with some Co-op ID, and security will give you a temporary pass. If you need to visit often, have a chat with the Federation manager Victoria about getting a permanent pass.
      Thanks, ^Lara

  4. Hi, how would i go about booking the event space?

  5. Great news to hear!

    Cant wait to come and have a look when its all up and running and settled in

    Congrats on all of the hard work 🙂

  6. Good positive news – moving forward in the Digital age – encouraging entrepenuers at Federation House, especially important pre Brexit and thereafter into the future for businesses.
    Businesses are going to need all the diversity and encouragement possible leading up to and post Brexit.
    Good luck to all at Federation House and good for Co-op encouraging moving forwards into the future.

  7. Great to see the old buildings being put to good use rather than just being forgotten about and left to rot

    “Old blood can be made young again”

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