We Mancs know that Manchester is full to the brim with history, culture, and creativity, but now UNESCO has confirmed this with an ‘excellent’ rating as a Creative City of Literature! The report covering 2017-2021 was submitted last year and was put through peer and expert review, which came back rated ‘excellent’ in all relevant categories.
The accolade is based on factors including Manchester’s work to support vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, its commitment to poetry, its vibrant publishing sector, the partnership approach and strength in literature development, and the vitality its approach to multilingualism brings.
The review noted the active political involvement in the designation from Manchester City Council, and from the two universities, and praised the city’s focus on benefits for residents and how Manchester was ambitious in contributing to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Cllr Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said: ““Being a UNESCO City of Literature is such a great achievement for the city, we are one of 42 cities in the world that have this prestigious designation and we’re proud to showcase the diverse talent of our city on the international stage.
“We have built on the strong foundations of Manchester’s rich literary history, and we alongside our partners from the city’s universities and literary community have harnessed their collective creative energies to launch and create events, libraries and spaces where words and literature can be celebrated.”
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester said: “The UNESCO City of Literature designation has fostered a true ‘Manchester spirit’ of collaboration between our universities, the City and the city’s diverse literary communities. This report recognises that transformational work, and we are very proud of our staff and students’ contribution to a great literary, creative environment in what our colleague Professor Jeanette Winterson has called an “alchemical city”.