Welcome to Manchester - An Oasis Of Sport, Commerce, & Creativity

Let's meet our newest team in Manchester: Craig, Mike, and Ryan to give them a warm welcome to our special network of cities and correspondents!

Published by Guest on 16/01/2018

There's no hiding that Manchester has had a tough year. In 2017 Manchester was visited by the spectre of terrorism, when on 22nd May, 22 innocent people were killed at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

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Photo by Ryan Cole 

Although many other cities have also been touched by terrorist atrocities, Manchester being smaller and more homogenous, felt it terribly. It hit every sector and every community hard.

However, if anything positive can come out of this, it was the overwhelmingly affirmative reaction from every corner of the city. Manchester was hurt, but Manchester is healing itself. The strong reaction galvanised the city and the response was cemented when a hundred thousand people turned out the very next day to stand up and show that our city would not be divided or broken.

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Photo by Ryan Cole

The ‘I Love Manchester’ campaign and ‘The Bee’ became a focus for looking forward with pride and courage. May 22nd 2017 will never be forgotten but Manchester showed what it was capable of by building a more cohesive and tolerant community than ever before.

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Photo by Ryan Cole

The thing is, that’s what Manchester has always been doing, building things. Sure, London might be seen to be ‘at the wheel’ of the UK so to speak, but Manchester has always been its engine room.

During the 1800s, Manchester’s mills produced 30% of the world’s cotton and it’s heavy engineering companies powered many of rest, however, like a lot of northern cities, Manchester struggled during the second half of the 20th Century to redefine its identity, after the demise of these great industries. Manchester however, stuck to its roots with a 21st Century twist; developing space-age textiles such as graphene and becoming home to many of the UK’s leading pharmaceutical businesses, a blossoming digital startup community, and a thriving aerospace sector.

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Photos by Craig Taylor

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Manchester has had to reinvent itself, but the DNA has remained unchanged. Manchester makes things and now Manchester is building, building like no other city in the UK. Although Manchester has kept its Georgian and Victorian heritage as well as any other city, the pace of change is breathtaking; you only need to look at plethora cranes reaching for the sky like metal sunflowers, to appreciate that Manchester is growing up, both literally and metaphorically, in a big way.

So where is Manchester now I hear you ask?

Manchester is about contrast. The new era of architecture and development is re-painting the skyline, a skyline that boasts four of the UK’s National Parks; the Lake District, Peak District, Snowdonia, and the Yorkshire Dales are all less than an hour away by train.

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Photo by Ryan Cole

You can shop in the morning at one of Europe’s largest shopping malls and be at Wordsworth’s cottage in the Lake District by mid-afternoon. You can climb England’s highest peak, Snowdon, in the morning and be back on Rusholme’s world famous ‘Curry Mile’ for dinner. You can visit Chatsworth House, one of the UK’s great homes for lunch and be back in Manchester watching Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho inspiring Manchester City and Manchester United.

The choice is yours.

Above all though, Manchester is build by its people. The names of the past, Alan Turing, LS Lowry, Emmeline Pankhurst, Tony Wilson, Anthony Burgess, and Fred Perry would make anyone’s list of great dinner party guests, anywhere in the world. Manchester is still a foundry (see, making things again) of creative talent too; Manchester boats some of the greatest names in music (the Smiths, Oasis, Joy Division, and the Stone Roses) and is complemented by great venues, including the Bridgewater Hall, the Palace Theatre, the Exchange Theatre, and thriving live gig scene.

Manchester has also retained a cultural charm in areas such as the bohemian, cobbled streets of the Northern Quarter, an area of pubs, independent shops, restaurants, digital startups, galleries, religious centres, and markets that has so far steadfastly resisted development.

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Photo by Mike Beard

It’s also no coincidence that as a result of these varied cultural, sporting, creative, industrial, and commercial elements that Manchester is a huge draw for students; over 80,000 students attend its internationally renowned colleges and universities.

I am new to Manchester. I’m a country boy at heart. A city hasn’t traditionally been my natural environment but Manchester is winning me over. As I walk the streets with my camera, I’m finding hidden parts of the city; I’m finding its soul and I’m finding its character.

Whatever you want to do, we welcome you to a city built on building things and now, building a spectacular future...

Words by Craig Taylor
Pictures by Craig Taylor, Mike BeardRyan Cole & Constanza Miranda

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