Celebrations, cake and… daleks at Hack Oldham

IT is not often you can be greeted by a full-sized Dalek, experiment with a 3D printing machine or get crafty with a laser cutter all under one roof.

But that’s certainly the case at Hack Oldham, a co-working, events and makerspace which has just celebrated its first birthday on Yorkshire Street in Oldham.

Tony Goacher, Gabrielle Gee, Cllr Iqbal, Robert Cragg, Adam Tweedie and Keiran Wilkinson (Pictures thanks to Robert Cragg at Studio G Photography)

The enterprise was launched as more of a “conversation in a pub” among creative friends, led by Andy Powell, who recently stepped down from the board at the AGM.

They held meet ups and sessions to bring together people with shared interests to share and develop their skills and run activities.

“We quickly got to the point that more and more people were interested and so we rented premises,” explained Lisa Gee, a board member and responsible for premises and events.

“In 2015 we had our first building on Hardcastle Street. Then we got Oldham Council on board and they have been very supportive, helping us move here 12 months ago.”

The anniversary was marked with a party attended by members, supporters and the Mayor of Oldham Cllr Javid Iqbal, who got a first-hand tour of what’s on offer.

The former pub has been transformed and now boasts a large meeting space which can be reconfigured as required, a fully equipped workshop, and there is a members’ lounge in progress.

Robert Cragg, the board’s vice chair, said: “It’s a great space for people to come to co-work. There’s high speed internet, a printer, photocopier, tea and coffee, and a meeting space. 

“It’s ideal for people who work from home and don’t want an office all the time but want a space to come to.

Mayor of Oldham Cllr Javid Iqbal with Bob the Dalek

“It’s somewhere to come to socialise, share skills and access things they wouldn’t be able to at home.

“We have plenty of regular visitors coming in once or twice a week as well as people just popping in when they need to use it.”

Hack Oldham is also home to a vast range of groups, from writing, crafts and Oldham Photoholics to technology, coding, role play and board games.

“If members think there should be a group for something, we encourage them to start it,” added Robert. “That is the spirit around here.”

Oldham Council leader Cllr Sean Fielding with Craig Dean, Chair of Hack Oldham

Hack Oldham is now run as a limited company with a board of eight, which has been chaired by Craig Dean from Web Applications since March 2017.

There are currently more than 90 members, with more always welcome to join.

Hack Oldham is also looking for volunteers to help out, from working on reception to looking after the technology and equipment.

Visit Hack Oldham at: 38-44 Yorkshire Street, Oldham, OL1 1SE or call 0161 627 2539.

They are open 9am-6pm on Monday to Friday, and for sessions in the evenings and over the weekends.

Find out more on their website: www.hackoldham.com

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