A new independent bookshop, café and event space has opened on Manchester’s King Street to combat loneliness and isolation.
Located in the Manchester Club building on King Street, House of Books & Friends is the brainchild of Darryl Cooke, founder of Manchester-based international law firm gunnercooke, who has set up a Community Interest Company to run the property and all profits will be reinvest in running the bookstore and other related projects.
House of Books & Friends has a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books suitable for adults and children and a well-stocked business section.
It will also host several events throughout the year, including ‘meet the author’, book clubs, music evenings and readings hosted by charity partners.
The bookshop also supports Manchester-based independent businesses and authors and hosts local community groups.
Businesses are also invited to show their support by joining the ‘House of Business Friends Club’ or by using the space for events.
Darryl Cooke, co-founder of gunnercooke said: “It is well documented that loneliness is a pernicious problem in society, and we are delighted to be opening for the holiday season at a time when many people are struggling.
“One hundred percent of our profit goes back to the organization, so every purchase someone makes and every great event they attend means we can make a difference for those experiencing loneliness.
“We have a contract with the local community where we only exist because of them. It means there is a real focus on quality, community service and being as supportive as possible when people are struggling.”
Property giant Bruntwood is a founding member of House of Books & Friends, which occupies its not-for-profit retail space in the redeveloped heritage-listed Manchester Club building.
Charlotte Wild, Head of Retail & Leisure at Bruntwood, commented: “House of Books & Friends is a very welcome addition to Bruntwood’s historic Manchester Club building on King Street.
“It will be a fantastic new independent bookstore for adults and children and will be an important space to help people fight loneliness in the community. We are so excited to see it come to life and look forward to it establishing itself as a successful new concept for the North West.”
House of Books and Friends has partnered with the Independent Age charity, which provides regular and friendly contact and free impartial advice to people in the community who are aging and want to remain independent and live on their own terms.