Once an avoided part of Manchester – in parts because there was absolutely no reason to visit until recent years – Ancoats was the city’s Ugly Duckling. That was, until, developers got their hands on the part-wasteland part-terraced residential area and turned it into the epitome of gentrification. Today, the city suburb is packed full of hip bars and some of Manchester’s best restaurants (including a Michelin star holder!), and as a result has become one of the most sought after places to live in the entire city region. But, what did it look like just over a decade ago?
Ancoats and Cutting Room Square, 2008
Just over a decade ago, Ancoats’ popular Cutting Room Square was nothing but a patch of mud, while the building which now houses Rudy’s and a number of flats was just a car park (which you may still notice remnants of when dining there! See the car park at the top of the image). Not a single high-rise apartment building or hip bar was in sight, only empty warehouses and wasteland surrounding the Halle church.
Cutting Room Square, 2022
Today, you’ll find tons of tall buildings surrounding the Halle, alongside bustling bars and restaurants and, as we often like to joke, sausage dogs everywhere.
Ancoats and New Islington Marina, 2008
New Islington Marina didn’t exactly resemble a marina 15 years ago. While you may recognise Old Mill Street’s doctor’s surgery in the second image, the area surrounding it is a far cry away from what it is today. There are no fancy street lights, no apartment buildings, no idyllic walkway, and not a single canal boat in sight. Just a whole lotta wasteland and algae.
In the third photo, taken where New Islington tram spot now lies, you’ll notice the Chips building still in its construction phase, no tram line running through the green space, and absolutely none of its neighbouring flat buildings which are there today.