Mustard Tree, Oldham Road


The Challenge

Mustard Tree was named by its founder, Dave Smith, who was inspired by one of the parables told by Jesus. It is found in Matthew, chapter 13, verses 31-32.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Since 1994 the Mustard Tree has been transforming the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Greater Manchester by enabling them to gain the skills and self-confidence they need to reach their full potential. The Mustard Tree is strategically placed to help deliver upon the political will to end homelessness in Manchester.

Key Considerations

We were part of the team that worked alongside the Mustard Tree to develop a scheme which reconfigures the charity’s current headquarters within the Ancoats conservation area.

The Outcome

The existing 1950’s building has been extensively altered and transformed. A newly created double height entrance foyer is accessed from Bengal Street and gives access to the shop, café and meeting rooms on the ground floor, exhibition and performance space, breakout space and training rooms on the first floor. The main reception is centrally located to ensure maximum visibility of all key spaces and that each visitor is warmly welcomed upon arrival.


The transformed building continues to be extremely popular, and the new facilities are enabling the Mustard Tree to provide a space which realises their Vision:

“We believe in Greater Manchester where everyone has the opportunity to be connected, valued and a contributing member of society.”

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