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New community hub ‘pops’ into the centre of Hyde
Monday 25th September 2017 @ 14:25 by Tom Greggan
Hyde News Tameside

A new not-for-profit social enterprise in the centre of Hyde is aiming to become a vibrant community hub for the town.

‘Corporation Pop’, based at the old Post Office on Corporation Street, launched on August 18th and held a very successful open day.

Founders Jackie Francis and Karen Knott have already lined up a host of events for the hub and they have a vision of Corporation Pop becoming a starting point for the area’s up-and-coming business and talent.

Jackie said: “It’s going to be an incubation for microbusinesses and fledgling businesses. We’ve got a café that seats thirty people. We’re going to put live music events on; acoustic and amplified, as well as comedy nights and pop-up cinema.”

Karen added: “There’s going to be a gap between the café and the evening entertainment so in that space we can put things on. We’ve got Tony Husband who tours round doing talks on his father and dementia. He’s also looking to do cartoon workshops. I don’t know anywhere else that’s doing things like that.

“We’ve got relaxation classes and yoga. Tony’s son, Paul, is looking at using the venue and putting on photography workshops. We’ve had enquiries from someone about doing his tutoring here and someone wants to do children’s guitar lessons.

“None of this has been planned, it all came to us. I think that is how it’s going to be; the people will define what this venue is. We are open to any suggestions and if we can fit it in, we will do.”

Jackie and Karen did their research before launching Corporation Pop and they believe the social enterprise will offer something the community is currently lacking.

“The youngest person we spoke to was nine and the eldest was 82,” Jackie said. “We asked them what their expectations would be of a community hub. They were great and really spontaneous with their ideas. This weekend was great because people just came along and it has already grown organically.”

While Corporation Pop is at the heart of the community, community is also at the heart of Corporation Pop. The idea grew from Jackie starting to help local food banks and that is a theme that she will be continuing.

She said: “We’re going to have a community fridge which gives the people who are using food banks the opportunity to have perishable goods. They’d get access to fresh food which they don’t always get.

“We’re also going to have a community clothes rack where people can leave gently-worn items they no longer need. If they see something they like, they can either swap it or make a small donation to us.

“Rather than just being somewhere where you can do a hobby or a craft, we want to be somewhere where you can do something for the community as well. I think that is the way forward now.”

If you’d like to visit Corporation Pop, the hub is open Monday-Saturday from 12-4.30pm, Tuesdays 6.30-7.45pm for the relaxation class and Fridays 7.30-11pm when the bar is open. If you’re interested in selling a product, hosting an event or running a class at the hub, you can contact Jackie and Karen on 07488374063.