Partisan Collective has recently gone through a series of open meetings with our members to decide on leaving or staying in our current space. We want to thank everyone who either attended or fed into these meetings, your participation was crucial in informing our decision. Following this consultative process, the Partisan co-op has decided unanimously not to pursue negotiations with our landlord in Cheetham Hill and have decided to leave the building when our lease ends this November.
Initially, the decision was made to move to Cheetham Hill with the expectation that the building could be made accessible in a relatively short period of time. However, because of continued delays from the council regarding planning permission, this has still yet to happen 3 years later. We want to recognise the decision to take on this space was naive and has caused harm to numerous people who were unable to access the space. We also recognise that the decision to move to an inaccessible building, regardless of our intentions to make the space accessible, was an ableist decision that de-prioritised the needs of disabled people, and ultimately has excluded disabled people and other people with access needs from accessing our space.
As a community space focused on social justice, the decision to exclude disabled people from the space was fundamentally the wrong decision to make, and this is something we need to apologise for. Moving forward, we want to state that accessibility is our priority, and we also want to try and repair our relationship with the disabled community. As an organisation which has caused harm in this way, we have a lot of work to do around this. We recognise this process won’t happen overnight, but it needs to structure the way we grow as an organisation for the future – and that engaging with disabled people will be key to this process. If anyone for whom the lack of access at Partisan has been a reason for not becoming a part of the collective, then we wish to invite you to become involved in shaping our shared future direction.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our office users, user groups, volunteers and members who have helped us make it this far and we look forward to welcoming you again to our next location. As a partner in Cheetham Hill Festival, we would especially like to thank all our friends in the community for their support and warm welcome during these last three years and we look forward to continuing to work together.
We are now starting the difficult process of moving from the space in Cheetham Hill. If you have capacity then we would massively appreciate your help in making this happen. If you are available then please send us an email – firstname.lastname@example.org
We are in the process of negotiating with a new venue and will be looking to make an announcement regarding this soon.
The co-op voted to:
Leave Cheetham Hill Road in November. To pursue moving to Islington Mill, but to ensure we have clear plans to make the space accessible straight away. To confirm our collective goals and identity to make sure Partisan is the most useful space it can be.
We agreed that being temporarily without a space may be a back-up option, but that finding a new, accessible and affordable physical space is our priority.