January can be a bit of a slog. Days are short, the weather’s rubbish and the news is bleak.

As a reminder that there are plenty of good things happening out there, too, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite good news stories from across the city this month.

VIRA: The handmade candle company set up by two Ukrainian friends

No doubt one of our favourite stories we’ve covered. Two Ukrainian friends who were forced to flee their country have found a new home in Didsbury, being welcomed in by Liz and Matt.

Now a little more settled in, the pair have picked up a business idea they had intended to set up in Kyiv, and Anna and Nastya have quickly become a hit with their stunning homemade candle business, VIRA.

After their story went viral across local Facebook groups, hundreds rushed to buy their candles, with sales over Christmas going through the roof. Read more about their story here.

Hip Hop Chip Shop's Bring Your Own Beverage / Blanket

Hip Hop Chip Chop have launched their alternative January offer, encouraging diners to bring along warm items that can be donated to those in need.

Throughout the month, they’ll be running a BYOB offer at £2 corkage, or, for free if you can bring along an item for donation. Coats, blankets, sleeping bags, anything along those lines is gladly accepted.

Historic city centre buildings to become creative hubs for media, tech and art

Forming part of Manchester Council’s Culture In The City initiative, two historic city centre market buildings and three arches next to HOME are set to be transformed into new epicentres of modern industry using £17.5m of Levelling Up funding, with work due to begin in the coming months.

Aiming to attract and support media businesses, tech start-ups and a range of creative ventures, Manchester Council and development partner Allied London will repair and convert the Grade II-listed Upper and Lower Campfield Market buildings – the latter formerly the Science and Industry Museum’s beloved Air and Space Hall – into an affordable hub wherein pioneering businesseses can blossom

Developed in consultation with creative practitioners, three railway arches next to HOME will become a ‘creative talent development centre’ run by the arts venue in a £2.2m project which will supply Mancunians with affordable co-working areas, rehearsal spaces and a range of artistic programmes for young people.

Chester Zoo announces birth of critically endangered chimpanzee

Chester Zoo have welcomed the birth of a Western chimpanzee, the most endangered subspecies of chimpanzees.

The baby boy will join a troop of 22 Western chimpanzees at the zoo, and in keeping with tradition, will be named after a famous rock star

“We’re incredibly proud to see a precious new baby in the chimpanzee troop,” said Andrew Lenihan, team manager at the zoo’s primate section. “Mum ZeeZee and her new arrival instantly bonded and she’s been doing a great job of cradling him closely and caring for him.

Dogs on trams to become permanent after successful trial

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are expected to announce that dogs will finally be able to travel on Metrolink trams permanently in the wake of a successful three-month trial pilot scheme between August and October last year.

As thorough deliberation between Manchester Council and TfGM continues, Greater Manchester’s Metrolink and Rail Sub-Committee are preparing to make their final decision on by the end of this month, after revealing that public response to the 2022 trial period has been ‘largely positive’.

Brad Lengden
Published on:
Mon 16 Jan 2023