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Your Type of Xmas

24 Lever Street

Bringing Christmas to the Northern Quarter

Every Christmas, the residents of 24 Lever Street pull out all the stops to celebrate our unique creative community. Previous years have seen our neighbours transform the building into a giant advent calendar and a snow scene, and this year it was our turn to lead the celebrations.

The ambition was to draw attention to our wonderful building with something physical that would truly stand out in the Northern Quarter. Our idea was to erect a giant rooftop billboard to display Mancunians’ dream Christmas gift ideas and kickstart a creative campaign to highlight the idea of giving at this time of year.

Where digital meets analogue

We also wanted our campaign to be something people across the city - and beyond - could interact with digitally and share, so we invited the people of Manchester to submit their strange, surreal and downright extravagant gift ideas through a custom-built website and social media channels.

Each day, our Neighbourhood elves would pick their favourite suggestion and display it on our rooftop billboard, using laser cut letters kindly created by our friends across the road at Fred Aldous.

Not only was each day’s suggestion displayed loud and proud on our billboard, it was also brought to life by a talented illustrator. We collaborated with 24 of the city’s best artists, each of whom put their own unique twist on our chosen gift ideas, which were shared daily in the countdown to Christmas.

Giving back

The campaign didn’t just build community spirit. It also raised awareness of The Wood Street Mission Christmas campaign, which distributed toys and food to over 2,000 struggling families in Manchester. We donated 24 gifts of our own to the appeal, one for each day of the campaign.

It didn't take long for the idea to capture people's imagination. We had over 500 playful suggestions submitted through our dedicated website and generated headlines across the local press:

“Over the last 10 years, we’ve worked hard to make sure the people who work at 24 Lever Street feel part of a big family. Christmas is a family occasion, which is why we ask a different family member to lead the celebration. And every year, thanks to their efforts, I start December with a smile on my face.”

Atul Bansal. Sheila Bird.