What to expect when you visit
What are your opening hours?
We are open Fridays and Saturdays in August, 11am to 5pm. Outside of these hours, you can make appointments with Makers to visit their studios for individual enquiries and commissions.
Are all of the studios open?
The majority of our studios will be open on Fridays and Saturdays, although due to individual circumstances and the changing situation, some studios may not be able to open. If you are visiting for a specific Maker/Studio, we would recommend checking in advance just to make sure they will be open.
Can I just turn up?
Yes. We’re not operating time slots or tickets for your visit, so you can just turn up. There will, however, be a maximum of 30 visitors allowed in the building at one time, just to ensure you don’t get overcrowded. We don’t envisage long waiting times and will be providing a space to wait outside. The café will be open for takeaways and pre-orders, and we’re happy for you to enjoy a brew outside under our Victorian glass canopy whilst you wait. If you are worried about waiting or have accessibility needs, then please do get in touch with us prior to your visit and we’ll do our best to help.
Is the Café open?
Oak St Café will be open 12pm to 2.30pm on Fridays and 11.30am to 3.40pm on Saturdays. They will only be offering takeaways and pre-orders for pick up, but there will be space to have your brew outside.
Outside of these hours Oak St Café will be running a pre-order service which is available via their website: Oak St Cafe
How will I be expected to pay?
We would really appreciate it if you could use contactless payments on your visit, as the majority of our businesses will not be accepting cash.
Will I be able to handle items before buying?
We would ask that you do not pick up and touch items on display unless you have first asked the Maker if it is ok to do so. Our Makers will be adapting their studios to create safe spaces for you to browse their work, and will also have cleaning and quarantining procedures in place where work needs to be handled prior to purchase.
Is the exhibition open?
Yes. Our exhibition, ‘Magic Carpet: A Tapestry Art Exhibition‘, by Kai Syng Tan that was on show before lockdown has been extended.
Do I need to wear a facemask?
From Friday 24 of July it will be law to wear a facemask or a similarly adequate face covering when visiting shops. We will be asking all visitors to be wearing a facemask before entering the building and throughout their visit, excluding those who are not required to do so under current exemptions.
Will the staff and Makers be wearing protective equipment?
Although it is not mandatory, staff and Makers will be wearing facemasks when interacting with customers. We will also be providing our welcome desk staff with visors and installing a screen.
How will I be able to social distance on my visit?
We have reduced the numbers of visitors allowed in the building to ensure you are able to maintain a safe distance. Studios will also be limiting numbers to ensure you are safe in those spaces too. There will be a one-way system on the first floor that will be clearly indicated and explained. On the ground floor there will not be a one-way system as there is enough space to move freely whilst maintaining a safe distance.
Will I be able to sanitise my hands?
We will be providing hand sanitiser on arrival and studios will also be providing this. We’ll ask that you use this on arrival.
Will the toilet be open?
Unfortunately, our toilet is currently closed to the public. The nearest public toilets can be found at The Arndale Centre which is only a short walk away.
Please find more information about the Arndale toilet facilities, here: https://www.manchesterarndale.com/Visiting/Facilities
Can we visit as a group?
Groups of up to 6 people are allowed, in line with Govt guidelines https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household-from-4-july
Please be aware that although we can accept groups of up to 6 in the main building, only smaller groups will be allowed into most studios so you may have to split up during your visit.
Can we bring kids?
Children are always welcome at the Centre, although unfortunately our toddler play area is currently closed. We ask parents and carers to supervise their children in line with social distancing guidelines.
Will there be a place to park buggies?
We will be providing self-service buggy parking on the ground floor.
We have carried out an extensive risk assessments in order to create a Covid-secure environment for our customers to visit. All studios have also completed risk assessments to accommodate the needs of their individual spaces. The Centre and individual businesses will adapt and change our risk assessments in line with any changes in Government advice.