Manchester facts for kids
|City and Metropolitan borough|
Clockwise from top: Skyline of Manchester City Centre, Beetham Tower, Manchester Civil Justice Centre, Midland Hotel, One Angel Square, Manchester Town Hall
|Nickname(s): "Cottonopolis", "Warehouse City", Madchester|
|Motto: "Concilio Et Labore" "By wisdom and effort"|
Manchester shown within Greater Manchester
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||North West England|
|Ceremonial county||Template:Country data Greater Manchester|
(north of River Mersey)
(south of River Mersey)
|City status||29 March 1853|
|• City||44.6 sq mi (115.6 km2)|
|• Urban||243.4 sq mi (630.3 km2)|
|Elevation||125 ft (38 m)|
|Population (2005 est.)|
|• Rank||[[List of English districts by population|]]|
|• Urban||2,553,379 (2nd)|
|• Urban density||10,490/sq mi (4,051/km2)|
|• Metro||2,794,000 (3rd)|
|• Ethnicity||White groups (66.7% )
|Time zone||Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||British Summer Time (UTC+1)|
|ISO 3166 code||GB-MAN|
|NUTS 3 code||UKD33|
|OS grid reference||SJ838980|
|Trunk primary routes||A5103|
|Major railway stations||Manchester Airport (B)
Manchester Oxford Road (C1)
Manchester Piccadilly (A)
Manchester Victoria (B)
|International airports||Manchester (MAN)|
|GDP||US$ 92.3 billion|
|- Per capita||US$ 35,029|
|MPs||Graham Stringer (L)
Lucy Powell (L)
Sir Gerald Kaufman (L)
Jeff Smith (L)
Mike Kane (L)
|European Parliament||North West England|
|Police area||Greater Manchester|
|Fire service||Greater Manchester|
|Ambulance service||North West|
Manchester (//) is a major city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 514,414 as of 2013[update]. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.55 million. Manchester is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.
The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, which was established in about AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. It was historically a part of Lancashire, although areas of Cheshire south of the River Mersey were incorporated during the 20th century. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township but began to expand "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester's unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialised city.
Manchester achieved city status in 1853. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and linking the city to sea, 36 miles (58 km) to the west. Its fortunes declined after the Second World War, owing to deindustrialisation. The city centre was devastated in a bombing in 1996, but it led to extensive investment and regeneration that has since helped it turn into a thriving 'reborn' modern city.
In 2014, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Manchester as a beta world city, the highest-ranked British city apart from London. Manchester is the third-most visited city in the UK. It is notable for its architecture, culture, musical exports, media links, scientific and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs and transport connections. Manchester Liverpool Road railway station was the world's first inter-city passenger railway station and in the city scientists first split the atom and developed the stored-program computer.
- Twin cities and consulates
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The name Manchester originates from the Latin name Mamucium or its variant Mancunium and the citizens are still referred to as Mancunians (//). These are generally thought to represent a Latinisation of an original Brittonic name, either from mamm- ("breast", in reference to a "breast-like hill") or from mamma ("mother", in reference to a local river goddess). Both meanings are preserved in languages derived from Common Brittonic, mam meaning "breast" in Irish and "mother" in Welsh. The suffix -chester is a survival of Old English ceaster ("fort; fortified town").
- See also: Timeline of Manchester history
The Brigantes were the major Celtic tribe in what is now known as Northern England; they had a stronghold in the locality at a sandstone outcrop on which Manchester Cathedral now stands, opposite the banks of the River Irwell. Their territory extended across the fertile lowland of what is now Salford and Stretford. Following the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century, General Agricola ordered the construction of a fort named Mamucium in the year 79 to ensure that Roman interests in Deva Victrix (Chester) and Eboracum (York) were protected from the Brigantes. Central Manchester has been permanently settled since this time. A stabilised fragment of foundations of the final version of the Roman fort is visible in Castlefield. The Roman habitation of Manchester probably ended around the 3rd century; its civilian settlement appears to have been abandoned by the mid-3rd century, although the fort may have supported a small garrison until the late 3rd or early 4th century. After the Roman withdrawal and Saxon conquest, the focus of settlement shifted to the confluence of the Irwell and Irk sometime before the arrival of the Normans after 1066. Much of the wider area was laid waste in the subsequent Harrying of the North.
Thomas de la Warre, lord of the manor, founded and constructed a collegiate church for the parish in 1421. The church is now Manchester Cathedral; the domestic premises of the college house Chetham's School of Music and Chetham's Library. The library, which opened in 1653 and is still open to the public today, is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom.
Manchester is mentioned as having a market in 1282. Around the 14th century, Manchester received an influx of Flemish weavers, sometimes credited as the foundation of the region's textile industry. Manchester became an important centre for the manufacture and trade of woollens and linen, and by about 1540, had expanded to become, in John Leland's words, "The fairest, best builded, quickest, and most populous town of all Lancashire." The cathedral and Chetham's buildings are the only significant survivors of Leland's Manchester.
During the English Civil War Manchester strongly favoured the Parliamentary interest. Although not long-lasting, Cromwell granted it the right to elect its own MP. Charles Worsley, who sat for the city for only a year, was later appointed Major General for Lancashire, Cheshire and Staffordshire during the Rule of the Major Generals. He was a diligent puritan, turning out ale houses and banning the celebration of Christmas; he died in 1656.
Significant quantities of cotton began to be used after about 1600, firstly in linen/cotton fustians, but by around 1750 pure cotton fabrics were being produced and cotton had overtaken wool in importance. The Irwell and Mersey were made navigable by 1736, opening a route from Manchester to the sea docks on the Mersey. The Bridgewater Canal, Britain's first wholly artificial waterway, was opened in 1761, bringing coal from mines at Worsley to central Manchester. The canal was extended to the Mersey at Runcorn by 1776. The combination of competition and improved efficiency halved the cost of coal and halved the transport cost of raw cotton. Manchester became the dominant marketplace for textiles produced in the surrounding towns. A commodities exchange, opened in 1729, and numerous large warehouses, aided commerce. In 1780, Richard Arkwright began construction of Manchester's first cotton mill. In the early 1800s, John Dalton formulated his atomic theory in Manchester.
Manchester's history is concerned with textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. The great majority of cotton spinning took place in the towns of south Lancashire and north Cheshire, and Manchester was for a time the most productive centre of cotton processing, and later the world's largest marketplace for cotton goods. Manchester was dubbed "Cottonopolis" and "Warehouse City" during the Victorian era. In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the term "manchester" is still used for household linen: sheets, pillow cases, towels, etc. The industrial revolution brought about huge change in Manchester and was key to the increase in Manchester's population.
Manchester began expanding "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century as people flocked to the city for work from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and other areas of England as part of a process of unplanned urbanisation brought on by the Industrial Revolution. It developed a wide range of industries, so that by 1835 "Manchester was without challenge the first and greatest industrial city in the world." Engineering firms initially made machines for the cotton trade, but diversified into general manufacture. Similarly, the chemical industry started by producing bleaches and dyes, but expanded into other areas. Commerce was supported by financial service industries such as banking and insurance.
Trade, and feeding the growing population, required a large transport and distribution infrastructure: the canal system was extended, and Manchester became one end of the world's first intercity passenger railway—the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Competition between the various forms of transport kept costs down. In 1878 the GPO (the forerunner of British Telecom) provided its first telephones to a firm in Manchester.
The Manchester Ship Canal was built between 1888 and 1894, in some sections by canalisation of the Rivers Irwell and Mersey, running 36 miles (58 km) from Salford to Eastham Locks on the tidal Mersey. This enabled oceangoing ships to sail right into the Port of Manchester. On the canal's banks, just outside the borough, the world's first industrial estate was created at Trafford Park. Large quantities of machinery, including cotton processing plant, were exported around the world.
A centre of capitalism, Manchester was once the scene of bread and labour riots, as well as calls for greater political recognition by the city's working and non-titled classes. One such gathering ended with the Peterloo Massacre of 16 August 1819. The economic school of Manchester capitalism developed there, and Manchester was the centre of the Anti-Corn Law League from 1838 onward.
Manchester has a notable place in the history of Marxism and left-wing politics; being the subject of Friedrich Engels' work The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844; Engels spent much of his life in and around Manchester, and when Karl Marx visited Manchester, they met at Chetham's Library. The economics books Marx was reading at the time can be seen in the library, as can the window seat where Marx and Engels would meet. The first Trades Union Congress was held in Manchester (at the Mechanics' Institute, David Street), from 2 to 6 June 1868. Manchester was an important cradle of the Labour Party and the Suffragette Movement.
At that time, it seemed a place in which anything could happen—new industrial processes, new ways of thinking (the Manchester School, promoting free trade and laissez-faire), new classes or groups in society, new religious sects, and new forms of labour organisation. It attracted educated visitors from all parts of Britain and Europe. A saying capturing this sense of innovation survives today: "What Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow." Manchester's golden age was perhaps the last quarter of the 19th century. Many of the great public buildings (including Manchester Town Hall) date from then. The city's cosmopolitan atmosphere contributed to a vibrant culture, which included the Hallé Orchestra. In 1889, when county councils were created in England, the municipal borough became a county borough with even greater autonomy.
Although the Industrial Revolution brought wealth to the city, it also brought poverty and squalor to a large part of the population. Historian Simon Schama noted that "Manchester was the very best and the very worst taken to terrifying extremes, a new kind of city in the world; the chimneys of industrial suburbs greeting you with columns of smoke". An American visitor taken to Manchester's blackspots saw "wretched, defrauded, oppressed, crushed human nature, lying and bleeding fragments".
The number of cotton mills in Manchester itself reached a peak of 108 in 1853. Thereafter the number began to decline and Manchester was surpassed as the largest centre of cotton spinning by Bolton in the 1850s and Oldham in the 1860s. However, this period of decline coincided with the rise of city as the financial centre of the region. Manchester continued to process cotton, and in 1913, 65% of the world's cotton was processed in the area. The First World War interrupted access to the export markets. Cotton processing in other parts of the world increased, often on machines produced in Manchester. Manchester suffered greatly from the Great Depression and the underlying structural changes that began to supplant the old industries, including textile manufacture.
Like most of the UK, the Manchester area was mobilised extensively during the Second World War. For example, casting and machining expertise at Beyer, Peacock and Company's locomotive works in Gorton was switched to bomb making; Dunlop's rubber works in Chorlton-on-Medlock made barrage balloons; and just outside the city in Trafford Park, engineers Metropolitan-Vickers made Avro Manchester and Avro Lancaster bombers and Ford built the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines to power them. Manchester was thus the target of bombing by the Luftwaffe, and by late 1940 air raids were taking place against non-military targets. The biggest took place during the "Christmas Blitz" on the nights of 22/23 and 24 December 1940, when an estimated 474 tonnes (467 long tons) of high explosives plus over 37,000 incendiary bombs were dropped. A large part of the historic city centre was destroyed, including 165 warehouses, 200 business premises, and 150 offices. 376 were killed and 30,000 houses were damaged. Manchester Cathedral was among the buildings seriously damaged; its restoration took 20 years.
Post-Second World War
Cotton processing and trading continued to fall in peacetime, and the exchange closed in 1968. By 1963 the port of Manchester was the UK's third largest, and employed over 3,000 men, but the canal was unable to handle the increasingly large container ships. Traffic declined, and the port closed in 1982. Heavy industry suffered a downturn from the 1960s and was greatly reduced under the economic policies followed by Margaret Thatcher's government after 1979. Manchester lost 150,000 jobs in manufacturing between 1961 and 1983.
Regeneration began in the late 1980s, with initiatives such as the Metrolink, the Bridgewater Concert Hall, the Manchester Arena, and (in Salford) the rebranding of the port as Salford Quays. Two bids to host the Olympic Games were part of a process to raise the international profile of the city.
Manchester has a history of attacks attributed to Irish Republicans, including the Manchester Martyrs of 1867, arson in 1920, a series of explosions in 1939, and two bombs in 1992. On Saturday 15 June 1996, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out the 1996 Manchester bombing, the detonation of a large bomb next to a department store in the city centre. The largest to be detonated on British soil, the bomb injured over 200 people, heavily damaged nearby buildings, and broke windows 1⁄2 mile (800 m) away. The cost of the immediate damage was initially estimated at £50 million, but this was quickly revised upwards. The final insurance payout was over £400 million; many affected businesses never recovered from the loss of trade.
Spurred by the investment after the 1996 bomb, and aided by the XVII Commonwealth Games, Manchester's city centre has undergone extensive regeneration. New and renovated complexes such as The Printworks and the Corn Exchange have become popular shopping, eating and entertainment destinations. The Manchester Arndale is the UK's largest city centre shopping centre.
Large sections of the city dating from the 1960s have been either demolished and re-developed or modernised with the use of glass and steel. Old mills have been converted into modern apartments, Hulme has undergone extensive regeneration programmes, and million-pound lofthouse apartments have since been developed. The 169-metre tall, 47-storey Beetham Tower, completed in 2006, is the tallest building in the UK outside London and when finished was the highest residential accommodation in Europe. In January 2007, the independent Casino Advisory Panel awarded Manchester a licence to build the only supercasino in the UK, however plans were officially abandoned in February 2008.
Since around the turn of the 21st century, Manchester has been regarded by sections of the international press, British public, and government ministers as being the second city of the United Kingdom. The BBC reports that redevelopment of recent years has heightened claims that Manchester is the second city of the UK. Manchester and Birmingham have traditionally competed as frontrunners for this unofficial title.
- See also: Geography of Greater Manchester
|Weather chart for Manchester|
|temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
At , 160 miles (260 km) northwest of London, Manchester lies in a bowl-shaped land area bordered to the north and east by the Pennines, a mountain chain that runs the length of northern England, and to the south by the Cheshire Plain. Manchester is 35.0 miles (56.3 km) north-east of Liverpool and 35.0 miles (56.3 km) north-west of Sheffield, making the city the halfway point between the two. The city centre is on the east bank of the River Irwell, near its confluences with the Rivers Medlock and Irk, and is relatively low-lying, being between 35 to 42 metres (115 to 138 feet) above sea level. The River Mersey flows through the south of Manchester. Much of the inner city, especially in the south, is flat, offering extensive views from many highrise buildings in the city of the foothills and moors of the Pennines, which can often be capped with snow in the winter months. Manchester's geographic features were highly influential in its early development as the world's first industrial city. These features are its climate, its proximity to a seaport at Liverpool, the availability of water power from its rivers, and its nearby coal reserves.
The name Manchester, though officially applied only to the metropolitan district within Greater Manchester, has been applied to other, wider divisions of land, particularly across much of the Greater Manchester county and urban area. The "Manchester City Zone", "Manchester post town" and the "Manchester Congestion Charge" are all examples of this.
For purposes of the Office for National Statistics, Manchester forms the most populous settlement within the Greater Manchester Urban Area, the United Kingdom's third-largest conurbation. There is a mixture of high-density urban and suburban locations in Manchester. The largest open space in the city, at around 260 hectares (642 acres), is Heaton Park. Manchester is contiguous on all sides with several large settlements, except for a small section along its southern boundary with Cheshire. The M60 and M56 motorways pass through the south of Manchester, through Northenden and Wythenshawe respectively. Heavy rail lines enter the city from all directions, the principal destination being Manchester Piccadilly station
Manchester experiences a temperate Oceanic climate, like much of the British Isles, with mild summers and cool winters. Summer daytime temperatures regularly top 20 Celsius, typically reaching 25 Celsius on sunny days throughout July and August in particular. In more recent years, temperatures now reach over 30 Celsius on occasions. In Winter, temperatures rarely dip below freezing anymore. There is regular but generally light precipitation throughout the year. The city's average annual rainfall is 806.6 millimetres (31.76 in) compared to the UK average of 1,125.0 millimetres (44.29 in), and its mean rain days are 140.4 per annum, compared to the UK average of 154.4. Manchester however has a relatively high humidity level and this, along with the abundant supply of soft water, was one of the factors that led to the localisation of the textile industry in the area. Snowfalls are not common in the city, due to the urban warming effect. However, the Pennine and Rossendale Forest hills that surround the city to its east and north receive more snow and roads leading out of the city can be closed due to snow. notably the A62 road via Oldham and Standedge, the A57 (Snake Pass) towards Sheffield, and the M62 over Saddleworth Moor.
|Climate data for Manchester Ringway, elevation: 69 m or 226 ft (1981-2010) extremes (1958-2004)|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.3
|Average high °C (°F)||7.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.5
|Average low °C (°F)||1.7
|Record low °C (°F)||-12.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||72.3
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||13.1||9.7||12.3||11.2||10.4||11.1||10.9||12.0||11.1||13.6||14.1||13.5||142.9|
|Avg. snowy days||6||5||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||20|
|Source #1: Met Office NOAA (relative humidity and snow days 1961-1990)|
|Source #2: KNMI|
- See also: Demography of Greater Manchester
Historically the population of Manchester began to increase rapidly during the Victorian era, peaking at 766,311 in 1931. From then the population began to decrease rapidly, due to slum clearance and the increased building of social housing overspill estates by Manchester City Council after the Second World War such as Hattersley and Langley.
The 2012 Mid-Year Estimate for the population of Manchester was 510,700. This was an increase of 7,900, or 1.6%, since the 2011 MYE. Since 2001, the population has grown by 87,900, or 20.8%. Manchester was the third fastest-growing of the areas in the 2011 census. The city experienced the greatest percentage population growth outside London, with an increase of 19% to over 500,000. Manchester's population is projected to reach 532,200 by 2021, an increase of 5.8% from 2011. This represents a slower rate of growth than the previous decade.
The Greater Manchester Built-up Area had a population of 2,553,400 (2011 est.,). An estimated 2,702,200 people live in Greater Manchester (2012 est.,). 6,547,000 people live within 30 miles (50 km) of Manchester (2012 est.,) and 11,694,000 within 50 miles (80 km) (2012 est.,).
Between the beginning of July 2011 and end of June 2012 (Mid-Year Estimate date), births exceeded deaths by 4,800. Migration (internal and international) and other changes accounted for a net increase of 3,100 people between July 2011 and June 2012. Compared to Greater Manchester and England, Manchester has a younger population, with a particularly large 20–35 age group.
Since the 2001 census, the proportion of Christians in Manchester has decreased by 22% from 62.4% to 48.7%. The proportion of people with no religious affiliation increased by 58.1% from 16% to 25.3%, whilst the proportion of Muslims increased by 73.6% from 9.1% to 15.8%. The size of the Jewish population in Greater Manchester is the largest in Britain outside London.
Manchester has a disproportionately high number of gay and lesbian people. Of all households in Manchester, 0.23% were Same-Sex Civil Partnership couple households, compared to the English national average of 0.16% in 2011.
In terms of ethnic composition, the City of Manchester has the highest non-white proportion of any district in Greater Manchester. Statistics from the 2011 census showed that 66.7% of the population was White (59.3% White British, 2.4% White Irish, 0.1% Gypsy or Irish Traveller, 4.9% Other White – although those of mixed European and British ancestry is unknown; there are reportedly over 25,000 Mancunians of at least partial Italian descent alone which represents 5.5% of the city's population). 4.7% were mixed race (1.8% White and Black Caribbean, 0.9% White and Black African, 1.0% White and Asian, 1.0% Other Mixed), 17.1% Asian (2.3% Indian, 8.5% Pakistani, 1.3% Bangladeshi, 2.7% Chinese, 2.3% Other Asian), 8.6% Black (5.1% African, 1.6% Other Black), 1.9% Arab and 1.2% of other ethnic heritage.
Kidd identifies Moss Side, Longsight, Cheetham Hill, Rusholme, as centres of population for ethnic minorities. Manchester's Irish Festival, including a St Patrick's Day parade, is one of Europe's largest. There is also a well-established Chinatown in the city with a substantial number of oriental restaurants and Chinese supermarkets. The area also attracts large numbers of Chinese students to the city who, in attending the local universities, contribute to Manchester having the third-largest Chinese population in Europe.
The Manchester Larger Urban Zone, a Eurostat measure of the functional city-region approximated to local government districts, has a population of 2,539,100 in 2004. In addition to Manchester itself, the LUZ includes the remainder of the county of Greater Manchester. The Manchester LUZ is the second largest within the United Kingdom, behind that of London.
- See also: List of tallest buildings and structures in Manchester, List of streets and roads in Manchester , Grade I listed buildings in Greater Manchester, Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester, and List of public art in Greater Manchester
Manchester's buildings display a variety of architectural styles, ranging from Victorian to contemporary architecture. The widespread use of red brick characterises the city, much of the architecture of which harks back to its days as a global centre for the cotton trade. Just outside the immediate city centre is a large number of former cotton mills, some of which have been left virtually untouched since their closure while many have been redeveloped into apartment buildings and office space. Manchester Town Hall, in Albert Square, was built in the Gothic revival style and is considered to be one of the most important Victorian buildings in England.
Manchester also has a number of skyscrapers built during the 1960s and 1970s, the tallest of which was the CIS Tower located near Manchester Victoria station until the Beetham Tower was completed in 2006; it is an example of the new surge in high-rise building and includes a Hilton hotel, a restaurant, and apartments. It remains the tallest building outside London and has been described as the United Kingdom's only true skyscraper outside the capital. The Green Building, opposite Oxford Road station, is a pioneering eco-friendly housing project, while the recently completed One Angel Square, is one of the most sustainable large buildings in the world. The award-winning Heaton Park in the north of the city borough is one of the largest municipal parks in Europe, covering 610 acres (250 ha) of parkland. The city has 135 parks, gardens, and open spaces.
Two large squares hold many of Manchester's public monuments. Albert Square has monuments to Prince Albert, Bishop James Fraser, Oliver Heywood, William Ewart Gladstone, and John Bright. Piccadilly Gardens has monuments dedicated to Queen Victoria, Robert Peel, James Watt and the Duke of Wellington. The cenotaph in St Peter's Square is Manchester's main memorial to its war dead; designed by Edwin Lutyens, it follows his design for the original on Whitehall in London. The Alan Turing Memorial in Sackville Park commemorates his role as the father of modern computing. A larger-than-life statue of Abraham Lincoln by George Gray Barnard in the eponymous Lincoln Square (having stood for many years in Platt Fields) was presented to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Phelps Taft of Cincinnati, Ohio, to mark the part that Lancashire played in the cotton famine and American Civil War of 1861–1865. A Concorde is on display near Manchester Airport.
Manchester has six designated Local Nature Reserves which are Chorlton Water Park, Blackley Forest, Clayton Vale and Chorlton Ees, Ivy Green, Boggart Hole Clough and Highfield Country Park.
- See also: Transport for Greater Manchester, Manchester Metrolink, Manchester station group, Manchester Airport, Cycling in Manchester, Greater Manchester congestion charge, and Greater Manchester Transport Innovation Fund
Manchester Liverpool Road was the world's first purpose-built passenger and goods railway station, and served as the Manchester terminus on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway – the world's first inter-city passenger railway. Today the city is well served by the rail network, and is at the centre of an extensive countywide railway network, including the West Coast Main Line, with two mainline stations: Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria. The Manchester station group – comprising Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria, Manchester Oxford Road and Deansgate – is the fourth busiest in the United Kingdom, with 41.7 million passengers recorded in 2013. On 7 February 2014, construction of the £600m Northern Hub project, which aims to increase capacity and reduce journey times across the North, began with construction work commencing on a 4th platform at Manchester Airport railway station. The High Speed 2 link to Birmingham and London is also planned, which, if built, will include a 12 km (7 mi) tunnel under Manchester on the final approach into an upgraded Piccadilly station.
Manchester became the first city in the UK to acquire a modern light rail tram system when the Manchester Metrolink opened in 1992. 25 million passenger journeys were made on the system in 2012/13. The present system mostly runs on former commuter rail lines converted for light rail use, and crosses the city centre via on-street tram lines. The 45.6 mi (73.4 km)-network consists of six lines with 69 stations (including five on-street tram stops in the centre). An expansion programme is underway which will create four new lines to add to the current three and will be at least 99 stops, 62 more than in 2010. Manchester city centre is also serviced by over a dozen heavy and light rail-based park and ride sites.
The city has one of the most extensive bus networks outside London with over 50 bus companies operating in the Greater Manchester region radiating from the city. In 2011, 80% of public transport journeys in Greater Manchester were made by bus, amounting to 220 million passenger journeys by bus each year. Following deregulation in 1986, the bus system was taken over by GM Buses, which after privatisation was split into GM Buses North and GM Buses South and at a later date these were taken over by First Greater Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester respectively. First Greater Manchester also operates a three route zero-fare bus service, called Metroshuttle, which carries 2.8 million commuters a year around Manchester's business districts. Stagecoach Manchester is the Stagecoach Group's largest subsidiary and operates around 690 buses. One of its services is the 192 bus service, the busiest bus route in the UK.
Manchester, Northern England and North Wales are served by Manchester Airport. The airport is the third busiest in the United Kingdom and the largest outside the London region. Airline services exist to many destinations in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia (with more destinations from Manchester than any other airport in Britain). A second runway was opened in 2001 and there have been continued terminal improvements. The airport has the highest rating available: "Category 10", encompassing an elite group of airports which are able to handle "Code F" aircraft including the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8. From September 2010 the airport became one of only 17 airports in the world and the only UK airport other than Heathrow Airport to operate the Airbus A380.
A smaller airfield, City Airport Manchester, also exists 9.3 km (6 mi) to the west of Manchester city centre. It was Manchester's first municipal airport, and became the site of the first Air traffic control tower in the UK, and the first municipal airfield in the UK to be licensed by the Air Ministry. Today, private charter flights and general aviation use the airfield, it also has a flight school, and both the Greater Manchester Police Air Support Unit and the North West Air Ambulance have helicopters based at the airfield.
An extensive canal network, including the Manchester Ship Canal, was built to carry freight from the Industrial Revolution onward; the canals are still maintained, though now largely repurposed to leisure use. In 2012, plans were approved to introduce a water taxi service between Manchester city centre and MediaCityUK at Salford Quays.
- See also: List of people from Manchester
- See also: Popular music of Manchester, List of music artists and bands from Manchester, and Madchester
Bands that have emerged from the Manchester music scene include The Smiths, Buzzcocks, Joy Division and its successor group New Order, The Fall, 10cc, Godley & Creme, Oasis, The Verve, Elbow, Doves, The Charlatans, M People, The 1975, Simply Red, Take That and The Outfield. Manchester was credited as the main regional driving force behind indie bands of the 1980s including Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, James, and The Stone Roses. These groups came from what became known as the "Madchester" scene that also centred on The Haçienda nightclub developed by founder of Factory Records Tony Wilson. Although from southern England, The Chemical Brothers subsequently formed in Manchester. Ex-Smiths Morrissey continues a successful solo career. Notable Manchester acts of the 1960s include The Hollies, Herman's Hermits, and Davy Jones of the Monkees (famed in the mid-1960s for not only their albums but also their American TV show) and the earlier Bee Gees, who grew up in Chorlton. Another notable contemporary band from Manchester is The Courteeners consisting of Liam Fray and four close friends. Singer-songwriter Ren Harvieu is also from Greater Manchester.
Its main pop music venue is the Manchester Arena, which was voted "International Venue of the Year" in 2007. With over 21,000 seats, it is the largest arena of its type in Europe. In terms of concertgoers, it is the busiest indoor arena in the world, ahead of Madison Square Garden in New York and The O2 Arena in London, respectively the second- and third-busiest. Other major venues include the Manchester Apollo, Albert Hall and the Manchester Academy. Smaller venues are the Band on the Wall, the Night and Day Café, the Ruby Lounge, and The Deaf Institute.
Manchester has two symphony orchestras, the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic. There is also a chamber orchestra, the Manchester Camerata. In the 1950s, the city was home to the so-called "Manchester School" of classical composers, which comprised Harrison Birtwistle, Peter Maxwell Davies, David Ellis and Alexander Goehr. Manchester is a centre for musical education, with the Royal Northern College of Music, which celebrates its 40th Anniversary since its merger, and Chetham's School of Music. Forerunners of the RNCM were the Northern School of Music (founded 1920) and the Royal Manchester College of Music (founded 1893), which were merged in 1973. One of the earliest instructors and classical music pianists/conductors at the RMCM, shortly after its founding was the famous Russian-born Arthur Friedheim, (1859–1932), who later had the music library at the famed Peabody Institute conservatory of music in Baltimore, Maryland, named for him. The main classical music venue was the Free Trade Hall on Peter Street, until the opening in 1996 of the 2,500 seat Bridgewater Hall.
Brass band music, a tradition in the north of England, is an important part of Manchester's musical heritage; some of the UK's leading bands, such as the CWS Manchester Band and the Fairey Band, are from Manchester and surrounding areas, and the Whit Friday brass band contest takes place annually in the neighbouring areas of Saddleworth and Tameside.
Manchester has a thriving theatre, opera and dance scene, and is home to a number of large performance venues, including the Manchester Opera House, which feature large-scale touring shows and West End productions; the Palace Theatre; and the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester's former cotton exchange, the largest theatre in the round space in the UK.
Smaller performance spaces include the Contact Theatre and Z-arts in Hulme. The Dancehouse on Oxford Road is dedicated to dance productions. In 2014, HOME, a new custom built arts complex opened in the City. Housing two theatre spaces, five cinemas and an art exhibition space, it replaced the Cornerhouse and The Library Theatre.
Since 2007 the city has hosted the Manchester International Festival, a biennial international arts festival with a specific focus on original new work, which has included major new commissions by artists including Bjork. In Chancellor George Osborne's 2014 autumn statement he announced a £78 million grant to fund a new "large-scale, ultra-flexible arts space" for the city. Subsequently, the council stated that they had managed to secure a further £32 million from "a variety of sources", The £110 million venue was confirmed in July 2016. The theatre, to be called The Factory, after Manchester's Factory Records, will provide a permanent home for the Manchester International Festival, it is due to open at the end of 2019.
Museums and galleries
Manchester's museums celebrate Manchester's Roman history, rich industrial heritage and its role in the Industrial Revolution, the textile industry, the Trade Union movement, women's suffrage and football. A reconstructed part of the Roman fort of Mamucium is open to the public in Castlefield. The Museum of Science and Industry, housed in the former Liverpool Road railway station, has a large collection of steam locomotives, industrial machinery, aircraft and a replica of the world's first stored computer program (known as The Baby). The Museum of Transport displays a collection of historic buses and trams. Trafford Park in the neighbouring borough of Trafford is home to Imperial War Museum North. The Manchester Museum opened to the public in the 1880s, has notable Egyptology and natural history collections.
The municipally owned Manchester Art Gallery on Mosley Street houses a permanent collection of European painting, and has one of Britain's most significant collections of Pre-Raphaelite paintings.
In the south of the city, the Whitworth Art Gallery displays modern art, sculpture and textiles and was recently voted Museum of the Year in 2015. Other exhibition spaces and museums in Manchester include Islington Mill in Salford, the National Football Museum at Urbis, Castlefield Gallery, the Manchester Costume Gallery at Platt Fields Park, the People's History Museum and the Manchester Jewish Museum.
The works of Stretford-born painter L. S. Lowry, known for his "matchstick" paintings of industrial Manchester and Salford, can be seen in both the city and Whitworth Manchester galleries, and at the Lowry art centre in Salford Quays (in the neighbouring borough of Salford) devotes a large permanent exhibition to his works.
Manchester is known for possessing a "radical literary history". In the 19th century, Manchester featured in works highlighting the changes that industrialisation had brought to Britain. These included Elizabeth Gaskell's novel Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life (1848), and studies such as The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, written by Friedrich Engels while living and working in Manchester. Manchester was the meeting place of Engels and Karl Marx. The two began writing The Communist Manifesto in Chetham's Library. The library was founded in 1653 and lays claim to being the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. Elsewhere in the city, the John Rylands Library holds an extensive collection of early printing. The Rylands Library Papyrus P52, believed to be the earliest extant New Testament text, is on permanent display in the library.
Charles Dickens is reputed to have set his novel Hard Times in the city, and while it is partly modelled on Preston, it shows the influence of his friend Mrs Gaskell. Gaskell penned all her novels, with the exception of Mary Barton, at her residence on Plymouth Grove. On numerous occasions Gaskell's house played host to influential authors including Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charles Eliot Norton. It is now open as a literary museum. Also closely associated with the city is Victorian poet and novelist Isabella Banks, most famed for her 1876 novel The Manchester Man. Anglo-American author Frances Hodgson Burnett was born in the city's Cheetham Hill district in 1849, and wrote much of her classic children's novel The Secret Garden while visiting nearby Salford's Buile Hill Park.
Among 20th century writers from Manchester is Anthony Burgess, who wrote the dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange in 1962. Dame Carol Ann Duffy, the current Poet Laureate, moved to the city in 1996 and lives in West Didsbury. Poet, novelist and academic Jackie Kay also lives in the city.
The night-time economy of Manchester has expanded significantly since about 1993, with investment from breweries in bars, public houses and clubs, along with active support from the local authorities. The more than 500 licensed premises in the city centre have a capacity to deal with more than 250,000 visitors, with 110–130,000 people visiting on a typical weekend night. The night-time economy has a value of about £100 million and supports 12,000 jobs.
The Madchester scene of the 1980s, from which groups including New Order, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, 808 State, James and The Charlatans emerged, was based on clubs such as the world-famous The Haçienda. The period was the subject of the film 24 Hour Party People. Many of the big clubs suffered problems with organised crime at that time; Haslam describes one where staff were so completely intimidated that free admission and drinks were demanded (and given) and drugs were openly dealt. Following a series of drug-related violent incidents, The Hacienda closed in 1998. In 1988, Manchester was often referred to as Madchester for its rave scene. Owned by Tony Wilson's Factory Records, it was given the catalogue number FAC51 and official club name, FAC51 The Hacienda. Known for developing many talented 80s influential acts, it also influenced the graphic design industry via Factory artists such as Peter Saville (PSA), Octavo (8vo), Central Design Station, etc. The memorabilia from this club holds a high value among collectors and fans of these artists and the club. Peter Saville was most notable for his minimalistic influence that still affects contemporary graphic design everywhere.
Public houses in the Canal Street area have had a gay clientele since at least 1940, and now form the centre of Manchester's gay community. Since the opening of new bars and clubs, the area attracts 20,000 visitors each weekend and has hosted a popular festival, Manchester Pride, each August since 2003.
Twin cities and consulates
- Amsterdam, (2007)
- Aydın, Turkey
- Bilwi, Nicaragua
- Chemnitz, Germany (1983)
- Córdoba, Spain
- Leskovac, Serbia
- Faisalabad, Pakistan (1997)
- Los Angeles, United States (2009)
- Rehovot, Israel
- Osaka, Japan
- Saint Petersburg, Russia (1962)
- Wuhan, China (1986)
Manchester is home to the largest group of consuls in the UK outside London. The expansion of international trade links during the Industrial Revolution led to the introduction of the first consuls in the 1820s and since then over 800, from all parts of the world, have been based in Manchester. Manchester hosts consular services for most of the north of England.
Images for kids
Aerial view of Manchester city centre from the south in 2008.
Manchester Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.