From Parking Lot to Paradise: help us to grow our indoor space and increase social impact

For the first time in Hulme Community Garden Centre's history we're launching a Community Share Offer (CSO). This is a chance to invest in a unique Mancunian urban oasis, to drastically improve its facilities and to increase its positive social impact. Thanks to the Community Shares Booster Programme all community shares will be matched pound for pound up to £100,000. 

The Share Offer will be run through the Crowdfunder website which will go live on the 1st July and run throughout the month. You can also apply using the application form below by post or in person.

You can find more detailed information outline in our Business Plan, Share Offer Information and Application document at the bottom of this page. 



Hulme Community Garden Centre (HCGC) opened its doors back in 2000, converting an area of scrubland, and later a car park, into a public green space to encourage healthy living through gardening and sustainable food growing. 

People grow here as much as the plants. We run an on-site activity programme with daily sessions providing meaningful opportunities to a wide range of people including parents and toddlers, adults with learning disabilities and sensory impairments, people who are beginner gardeners, and anyone who just wants to enjoy being outdoors and part of our volunteer family. It is an inclusive space, with over 30% of current volunteers have physical or mental disabilities. Our volunteers become healthier, happier, more confident and part of a supportive community of horticultural heroes. 

We’re a one stop destination for everything our community needs to make beautiful, wildlife friendly natural spaces, stocking everything from trees to tiny alpines. Over the last 20 years we've seen the Centre thrive. Each year we welcome over well ten thousand people through our doors, as well as the diverse array of wildlife that calls the centre home. If you haven't visited yet, then what are you waiting for? Come and see this urban paradise for yourselves.



Hulme Community Garden Centre provides enjoyment, sanctuary and a breath of fresh air to so many, but the onsite facilities create limitations to what is possible. Through consultation with the community, we have identified that the main issues are a lack of indoor space, which prevents year-round use by volunteers and service users, especially those with additional needs. The hidden entrance is poorly designed and accessibility is poor. There is only one compostable toilet, no baby changing facilities, a small outdoor cafe, a tiny space for administrative staff and not enough indoor sales space, and breathe....

We have an increasingly ambitious vision for the centre’s future and need social investors to help make it a reality. We want to:

- Increase the amount of warm, indoor space, so we can bring people together all year round.

- Make our site more accessible, so absolutely everyone can enjoy our garden.

- Boost plant sales and secure our sustainability. With a bigger shop we can increase our turnover, making sure we’re set to thrive for years to come. 

Our exciting plans involve creating a new accessible entrance from the street, a bigger indoor shop, functional office space, a warm hub for our volunteers and an improved cafe area. We'll also install new flushing, accessible toilets with baby changing facilities. This will be an environmentally friendly project, using repurposed shipping containers to create a happy space for friends, families and groups to spend time together in a truly inspiring environment.

We’re keeping costs down, and social impact up, by maximising the use of willing volunteers for design, planning and the actual build. However without your investment our bold plan will wither on the vine (no more gardening puns now, we promise!). Planning permission was received in March 2019 and we're raring to go.



Hulme Community Garden Centre is seeking to raise a maximum of £200,000 towards this capacity building project which has a total projected cost of £270,000. A breakdown of costs is outlined in the Share Offer Information Document. The minimum amount subscribers are invited to invest will be £100, the maximum is £20,000 or 10% of the total share offer raise. 

We want to acknowledge that we understand not everyone can afford to contribute, we ask that you share the project with your network and continue to be a valuable member of our community.

How your social investment will grow

All investments will accrue membership of Hulme Community Garden Centre and a vote at the AGM as well as 3.5% return on investment after year 3 (subject to the discretion of the Board). There are also a range of incentives: 

- Individuals investing £100 or over can collect a delightful Hulme Community Garden Centre Tote Bag

- Individuals investing £500 or over can collect a delightful Tote Bag and have your name listed on the building

- Individuals investing £1000 or over can collect a delightful Tote Bag, have your name listed on the building and use one of our Venue Hire options for 3hrs

- Organisations investing £5000 or over will have their name listed on the building and use one of our Venue Hire options for 1 day

- Organisations investing £10,000 or over will have their name listed on the building and can host a Corporate Day for 10 people at HCGC

- Organisations investing £20,000 or over will have their name listed on the building and can host a Corporate Day for 25 with pizza making at HCGC

About Community shares

Community shares are withdrawable shares that cannot be sold, traded or transferred between Members, unlike shares in a typical company. All Members are entitled to one vote – regardless of how many shares they hold.

HCGC will pay 3.5% interest on shares from 3 years after investment (the end of the Community Share Offering), and also from 3 years members may withdraw their shares and realise their capital subject to the financial performance of the society and Board discretion.

For more information and case studies around community shares, and additional guidance on investing in community shares, visit the website of the Community Shares Unit: 

Booster Investment match funded up to £100,000

The Community Shares Booster Programme is matching all community shares pound for pound up to £100,000 for this offer. 

We have been supported in the business development of this share offer through the Booster Programme, which is funded by Power to Change and run by the Community Shares Unit. 

Please read the share offer document and business plan below in detail before purchasing shares in Hulme Community Garden Centre and take financial advice if necessary.