News Listings

New courses, new space, new groups!

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The MadLab building is about to undergo a major facelift, which means by autumn we’ll be better equipped to host community groups and commence our exciting new course programme!

The refurbishment is scheduled to finish in October. Upon completion we’ll have completely new frontage (bye bye dodgy shutters) and a new meeting room on the ground floor (hello new space for events!)

Old frontage - you've served us so well, but it's time to move on

Old frontage – you’ve served us so well, but it’s time to move on

Plans for new frontage

Plans for new frontage

With regular enquiries from new groups, and attendance for existing groups and courses at an all time high, the refurbishment is coming at a crucial time in MadLab’s continuing development.  We’re all really excited about what the future holds for our ever growing community.

So, what does this mean for you?


We’ve had a number of success stories from our courses in the past, some of which have recently been picked up on by The Skinny. They’ve featured, amongst others, Dan Hett (a previous course attendee who got scouted by the BBC and who is about to run his own course at MadLab) in an article about working in the arts.

Meanwhile back at MadLab, we’re working hard on our autumn course schedule and, come October, we’ll be starting our exciting new timetable, in our shiny new space.  We will be presenting a host of new social and professional courses led by international names such as WordPress co-founder Mike Little, and featuring everything from Coding to Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy via Arduino, Creative Writing and trusty favourites such as the ever-popular WordPress courses.

We’ll be announcing the full programme in the next few weeks so keep an eye on our website, Twitter and Facebook page, or, if you’d like to be ahead of the curve, register your interest by emailing us at and we’ll make sure you’re the first to receive the info.


There will be a period of temporary relocation during the refurb. (we’re currently finalising details and will be in touch with existing groups very soon).  Although we’d love to stay here and let the work go on around us, we’ve been advised by our architect to vacate the building during this period.  Our temporary location will be centrally located and big enough to host all of our groups so won’t cause too much disruption!

What the refurbishment does mean, is that the ground floor will be warm and cosy in the winter months (through better insulation) and we’ll have a new meeting room allowing us to take on new groups, while continuing to support those whose attendance is going up and up.

If you’re interested in using MadLab for a meetup, let us know via We offer the space free to unsponsored groups who do not charge for attendance.

Manchester Science Festival’s #HookedOnMusic

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Hooked On Music

MOSI are running an experiment to try and work out what makes certain music so catchy using the power of neuroscience! Hooked On Music is a game anyone can get involved with to help scientists work out why some songs get stuck in our heads.

Erinma Ochu, citizen scientist-in-residence at MOSI, muses on the neuroscience behind the joys of listening to music:

“So, MOSI have launched a music experiment that people can get involved in to help scientists figure out what makes music memorable: Played as a game over several rounds, players get to recognise songs by singing out loud (or in their head if they’re shy) and identify the catchiest bit in pop songs from the 50s to the 90s and the present day.


MadLab is hiring!

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

We’re pleased to announce that thanks to the Creative Employment Programme we are offering a new paid internship starting in July 2014. This six month post is open to those who have been unemployed for six months or more,  are between the age of 18-24, live in Manchester and are currently seeking Job Seekers Allowance.

If you are interested in the post, please send a CV and cover letter to or give us a call at 0161 839 6324 to chat about the role.

Applications will only be considered from people permanently residing within the boundaries of the City of Manchester.  To check that you are resident within the area covered by Manchester City Council, you can see which ward you live in here:

Events and Retail Assistant at MadLab 



Job Specification


  • Assist with community events onsite and occasionally offsite
  • Rig and de-rig events as required
  • Supervise the space during community group usage on Monday and Tuesday evenings
  • Assist with general maintenance of the building as and when required
  • Assist with onsite promotion
  • Support the team with the day to day running of the organisation


  • Run MadLab’s community shop ‘Inventory’ on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
  • Provide customer service to Inventory shoppers
  • Keep the shop and displays clean and tidy at all times
  • Operate the till and accurately handle cash and credit/debit cards
  • Undergo ad-hoc stock takes
  • Assist with the promotion of Inventory online (Twitter, FB etc)
  • Assist in changing displays of shop stock
  • Maintain vigilance at all times to minimise stock loss


  • To support the team on all MadLab related activities and provide assistance where required


As MadLab run a variety of courses we are able to provide WordPress and Arduino training for the successful candidate with a view to providing more training as the role progresses.


Monday-Tuesday 1pm-9pm

Wednesday-Friday 10am-6pm

Above are the regular working hours for the post however you may occasionally be asked to work additional hours during the week or at the weekend. It is essential that the successful candidate has a flexible attitude to working hours with the willingness to work evenings and weekends where required.

Salary: National Minimum Wage

Duration: Six Months

Person Specification


  • English and Maths GCSE A-C
  • A broadly-based general knowledge with a developed interest in digital technology and/ or science
  • Familiarity with social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook
  • Keyboard skills: Excellent IT skills and an understanding of Windows/ Pages
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Well-developed communication skills
  • Excellent spelling and grammar
  • Interns will be required to set-up spaces for workshops which requires light (but frequent) lifting


  • 5 GCSEs A-C
  • Retail Experience
  • Experience of working in a community-space environment (or similar)
  • Interest in new technologies and a desire to learn about them 

Please note that the above job role and person specification is not intended to be prescriptive. If you have an interest in MadLab and what we do and feel you have valuable skills that would add to the organisation we would love to hear from you! We are more than willing to amend the role for the right candidate.

Curry & Coding – 4th June

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Curry & Coding

Coding has become one of the most talked about education topics in recent months, and with the runaway success of platforms such as the Raspberry Pi, and the addition of computing to the curriculum, there is a growing feeling in the tech world that we should be using our computers to create, not just to consume.

If you’re not in school, not sure if programming is for you, or don’t even know what a Raspberry Pi is, fear not. MadLab have teamed up with Longsight Library & Learning Centre to create a visionary combination: Curry & Coding.

By combining one of the nation’s education priorities with one of its favourite dishes, we provide a relaxed, tasty atmosphere in which to learn a bit more about programming. With friendly faces from the MadLab staff and community, excellent local food, and no strict lesson plan, this is the perfect opportunity to tuck into some grub, ask any questions you might have, and get a quick introduction to coding.

At our last session, attendees got crash courses in Ruby and Python, an introduction to web design with HTML and CSS, and a look at artistic, visual-focused languages like Processing.

If you’re intrigued, you can sign up via Eventbrite for free, and we’ll see you on the 4th of June. If you have a laptop please bring one, otherwise just bring your appetite!

by James Medd

Bokeh Yeah! Timeline Poetry Film Event

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Bokeh Yeah! are one of MadLab’s most enterprising and creative meetup groups. They offer a forum for DSLR film makers in the region to work on projects together, share techniques, run workshops, and respond to a variety challenges to create great independent films. Here’s a message from them about a showcase of their latest work, happening at Islington Mill on Thursday 29th May.

Timeline Flyer

An invitation from Bokeh Yeah!:

“Bokeh Yeah! is excited to invite you to an evening of Poetry Films at the Islington Mill, Salford on the 29th of May from 8:30pm. Running as a special programme in this year’s KinoFilm Short Film Festival.

A total of nine poem films were produced as part of the Bokeh Yeah! 2014 Timeline Poem Film Challenge, run in association with Comma Film. The quality of the film making was extremely high this year, and we have already had interest from various festivals for further screenings.

The Islington Mill event will include live readings from the poets involved, as well as an evening of drinks and music from DJ Jucy Lucy until 11:30pm. ”

Find Bokeh Yeah! on Facebook and Twitter

by James Medd