Manchester sets out new city centre strategy


Residents at our consultation event in November


Manchester City Council has launched a consultation on a new three year City Centre Strategy.

The vision for the city centre looks to build on the successes of the previous 2009/12 strategy - that is, for the city centre to be a place to invest, to work, to live, to shop, to enjoy, that brings people together and a place that is easy to travel to for leisure or employment, and to get around once there.

The vision is of Manchester as a world class city as competitive as the best international cities across the globe.

The strategy also looks to root Manchester’s position as the main economic hub in the region, and help rebalance the economic dominance of London and the South East through major investment, to support growth of the city and the city region.

The document celebrates key achievements since 2009 - including the completion of the first phase NOMA development, the delivery of HOME, and the refurbishment of the Town Hall complex and enhancement of Central Library and St Peter’s Square.

The achievements will be continued with future key investments - from significant transformations at NOMA, Corridor Manchester (Oxford Road), St John's (Ex-Granada site), First Street and Piccadilly, to a more considered approach to attracting investment and improvement in neighbourhoods such as Great Jackson Street and the Northern Quarter.

The city centre has expanded to meet rising demand for commercial, leisure and retail space. This expansion has allowed stronger connections with new vibrant neighbourhoods, including NOMA to the north, First Street to the south and Ancoats and New Islington to the east.

The population of the city centre has trebled in the last decade - now almost 25,000 people - and more than 140,000 people work in the city centre, with further increases expected over the next five years.

As such, infrastructure investments are key to the city centre strategy, with major improvements to transport through the second city crossing, northern hub proposals, and bus priority scheme, as well as developments in the city’s digital infrastructure and waterways.

As more people choose to live in the city centre, it is important that the strategy realises the need for successful and environmentally sustainable neighbourhoods to live, work and visit - as well as the inclusion of new public spaces.

This also means attracting enterprising and creative national and international business investment that will ensure secure job creation and employment opportunities.

Attractive employment is vital to encourage the highly-skilled people being nurtured in Manchester’s world-class education institutions to stay in the city - and the strategy will also ensure that the wide range of employment opportunities on offer in the city centre are accessible to local people.

City centre councillor Kevin Peel said:

"Although the city centre is home to tens of thousands of jobs and is the region's premier destination for shopping and leisure, it is also home to a large and growing residential population.

"There is a constant struggle to balance the needs of the people who live here with those who come here for work or leisure purposes and we welcome the recognition that we need to create environmentally sustainable neighbourhoods with proper amenities and new public spaces.

"City centre councillors have made these points consistently over the last four years and we continue to raise these issues when new developments come forward for planning permission."

On 25th November, councillors held a public meeting and interactive workshop to gather the ideas, feedback and questions of residents to help improve the plan. Residents made a number of comments and suggested amendments and additions which you can read below.

Download a copy of the notes from our consultation meeting

Read the City Centre Strategy and respond to the consultation - consultation closes on 12th January

Showing 3 reactions

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  • Kev Peel
    Correction Spencer – the consultation has not yet taken place and will go live soon.
  • Kev Peel
    Hi Spencer – the consultation has already taken place and the strategy has been approved, which is the subject of this news story.
  • Spencer James
    Its not on MCC’s List of Consultations at the moment so it is difficult to respond. Somewhere it is says it is for 2016-18 and everybody gets confused with the GM CR and there is another longer term plan in the City Councils list. Maybe we can ask HB or on of his staff to tell us about it at the City Centre Forum and TL can comment