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​Goodbye 5 Richmond Street

Published: 31 July 2020 Tags: By Andrew Gilliver

5 Richmond Street has been our home for ten years. Over that time, our Community Centre has welcomed hundreds of thousands of people through its doors. However, time moves on and sadly, we must move with them.

Today we shut the door for the last time on the building we have lived in and loved in for the last decade, but all the memories that this place holds for us will be with us forever.

To us, 5 Richmond Street wasn’t just a building; it was a safe space for our communities, a place where many of us sought refuge from the world outside. The building offered many different things to many different people. From one-to-one support, regular groups and special events all year round. Some of us have practically lived in that building over the last decade.

We have loved being the based here in the heat of Manchester’s Gay Village, yes even on a hot Friday afternoon in the middle of summer when many were out enjoying the sunshine on Canal Street and we were working in a hot sticky office without any air conditioning. We can’t wait to return to a new space in the Village soon.

We benefitted hugely from being at the centre of all the action during Manchester Pride and being so close to everyone when the celebrations were in full swing.

We’ve loved being open during important events like Sparkle and providing a drop-in space for our trans and non-binary/gender fluid and intersex communities attending from all over the world.

We have seen our own events like Sugar & Spice become one of the most important social and wellbeing events for lesbian, bi and queer women.

Our sexual health screening, talking therapies and befriending services would not have been so successful without people feeling able to access our building, even when they felt at their most vulnerable and alone.

So many fantastic and innovative projects have been launched and grown from 5 Richmond Street. To mention just a few: Village Angels, TransMCR, Pride in Practice; Pride in Ageing etc., the list is endless.

One thing we definitely will not miss however is the 100-year-old lift and we still want to say sorry to everyone inconvenienced when the lift broke down at the worst of all possible times!

We owe so much to 5 Richmond Street for helping us to grow and be ready to take our next bold step into the future.

Buildings hold special memories for us all but buildings are nothing without the people that use them.

So many fabulous people (like you) made our home the welcoming place that it was and we will take that warmth with us wherever we go.

We want to say thank you to each person who had a cup of tea with us, laughed with us, cried with us and generally made the last ten years the most amazing time in our 45-year history. We can’t wait to be together again soon.

We know current times are uncertain and many of us feel unsure of what the future holds but one thing you can be sure of is that we are still here when you need us and soon we will have a new place - or places to visit where you need us too.

We never did get to officially name our old home but rumours that some people were campaigning for it to be called Jane McDonald House are not entirely untrue! We know not why.

We might not be heading out on the high seas for a cruise but we are setting off for a new adventure and we want you to be with us for every stage of the journey. Until then, watch this space. Please do continue to contact us and join us as we say goodbye to our former home.

Thank You 5 Richmond Street, Manchester, M1 3HF