Art Studio at Hope Mill

Hope Mill is an inspirational place to visit.  Buzzing with a mix of inner city energy; the historical richness of a grade 2 listed mill that continues to resonate with it’s past industrial splendour; and a contemporary vitality borne out of the mill’s re-imagined designation as home to Manchester’s largest creative hub of artists, designers, photographers, Comma Press publishers, Comme Ca art gallery, Hope Mill Theatre,  and much more.

Hope Mill and AWOL Studios, sits on the fringe of a revitalised Ancoats, that has seen urban regeneration turn a forgotten corner of our city into the hippest suburb of Manchester, bursting with an independent spirit, and home to a plethora of creative businesses.

Creative Art Courses is proud to be part of this vibrant and creative city.  

Hope Mill

Spiral stone staircase + lift

Corner entrance door under canopy

Studio with swinging exhibition wall panels

Video to watch

Watch the video the find out exactly what the Creative Art Courses studio is all about.

I joined AWOL studios in 2005.  The Gallery studio that I now occupy was originally designed as an art gallery and has 3 walls that pivot enabling me to have the use of an open space for exhibitions, and enables students to enjoy a wider more open space during some of my courses. 

But more importantly, find out what my students think about the Gallery studio within this enigmatic grade 2 listed mill.

“Excellent. Has a friendly social vibe. Very artistic and friendly”

Student Comments

Interesting environment
Looks like a vibrant community
Interesting building. Ideal for artist collective.
Great venue. Decent parking and spacious.
Loved the old building [Hope Mill]. Arty atmosphere, plenty of space and light.
Lovely old building and amazing staircase.
Hope Mill: Cold, lots of stairs but amazing artist display.
Hope Mill building is large, a bit intimidating.
Very funky creative hub
Interesting, love these old mills – a great relaxed environment.
OK, lift not great, but as expected for an old mill building
Loads of character
Well kept old building
A bit dilapidated but serves its purpose. Easy to find and park.
A bit difficult to find but a lovely quirky spot.
Cool, creative place
A wonderful venue. AWOL Studios and Creative Art Courses is a fantastic place to work.

Student Comments

Gallery Studio
Well organised
Excellent venue – light, warm, airy
Relaxed airy studio
Very bright and perfect for all types of art
Spacious, lots of natural daylight. Well equipped.
Chilly, but interesting
Directions were good. Nice airy venue. Warmer than I expected.
Very nice – studio vibe as expected.
The studio was spacious and well lit.
Great! Been meaning to come and have a look for ages.
Gallery studio was welcoming, organised and well equipped.
The studio space is well organised and warm.
Relaxing – made me feel creative
Good art facilities, a bit cold.
Good space + size.
Lovely studio – spacious with lots of light.
Creative venue, great light space, but needs new windows! [ed. Hopefully soon]
Amazing creative space
Homely, nice place to hang out.
Well-equipped studio
Great space
Warm, good space for art, don’t feel we can’t be messy.
Well set up, characterful.
Neat and tidy. Very organised and well equipped. Big enough and warm.

AWOL Studios

AWOL Studios occupies 4 floors within Hope Mill.  Hope Mill has a lift (somewhat Victorian in character!) and a characterful main spiral stone staircase.  We have the benefit of central heating in winter (a real bonus compared to other Mill conversions), shared toilet facilities, and equipment washing area.

Unfortunately Hope Mill is not fully wheelchair accessible or DDA compliant.  If you have any specific access needs, please let me know before booking.  I try my best to ensure my courses are as accessible and inclusive as possible.

“Hope Mill was one of the earliest developments in the
world’s first industrialised city.”

Hope Mill history

Hope Mill was one of the earliest developments in the new industrial suburb created alongside the Ashton Canal in the 1820’s. In 1824, the owners, Joseph Clarke and Sons purchased an 80 horse-power mill beam engine from Boulton and Watt of Birmingham. By 1880, the area was fully developed, with a large number of steam- powered industrial complexes. In the early C20, Hope Mill was occupied by John Hetherington and Sons, manufacturers of textile machinery, based at Vulcan Works further west on Pollard Street.

Listed building
Hope Mill is a Gade 2* listed building and is one of the best-preserved examples of its type in Manchester.  The Mill retains extensive evidence for the evolution of successive power systems, and which includes an innovative prefabricated iron roofing system.

This important component structure demonstrates an understanding by the designers of the principles of compression and tension acting in roof structures, and is related to similar early iron roof structures in contemporary mill developments in Ancoats.

Hope Mill makes a strong contribution to the international significance of this part of Manchester as the prototypical industrial suburb.  The Mill along with Ancoats’ wider heritage represents the extent and density of Manchester’s textile and engineering industry at its peak, and together constitutes an historical industrial landscape of international significance.