From hosting a catwalk show for one of the world’s renowned fashion houses to opening a huge venue dedicated to arts and culture this year, Manchester is definitely putting itself on the map. Named one of the best destinations in the world to visit in 2023, little did we know just how much of a year it would be for the city. With more planned in 2024, is the world gradually realising Manchester’s potential and that there’s plenty to shout about if you leave the capital bubble and head up north?
Manchester has long been referred to as the ‘second city’ (sorry, Birmingham), but with it being home to a legendary music scene, industrial history and ground-breaking innovations, some may argue it’s more than first-class. Hosting global events in the city like the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and more recently the Chanel Metiers d’Art fashion show, these are likely to have not only put a spotlight on Manchester but also had a positive economic impact on the city.
Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Luthfur Rahman OBE, reflected on the economic impact post-Chanel fashion show saying that this “is something that is already resonating with people around the globe and is going to continue to be felt by the city for quite some time”. He said it speaks volumes about the regard in which Manchester is already held across the world, but “more importantly it also sends a clear signal to international businesses and the international visitor economy that Manchester is the place to be”.
Luthfur Rahman OBE continued: “It’s impossible at this stage to even begin to quantify the economic impact hosting the event has had on the city, or to put a figure on it. The true impact will involve not just the direct spend and income generated within the city over these last few weeks leading up to and during the event, but also the longer-term benefits that will come from the massive boost to Manchester’s profile that Chanel has given the city, that in turn translates into more visitors coming to see what Manchester has to offer, and more businesses choosing to invest here.
“It has been without doubt quite a moment for Manchester, not least coming as it does off the back of many other significant moments for the city this year, that together place Manchester in absolute pole position on the world’s stage for the years ahead.”
Now set to host a number of events next year including the Michelin Guide awards ceremony, Worldwide Music Expo (WOMEX), the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Urban Show and the first ever International Brewing & Cider Festival, 2024 is expected to be another great year for the city. And the accolades do not stop there…
Manchester will become the first European Capital of Cycling and is set to be home to the English National Opera in years to come, meaning it will add to the city’s melting pot filled with sport, music, arts and culture as well as food and drink. As well as hopefully seeing Manchester Town Hall and Albert Square’s new look, the highly-anticipated Co-op Live arena will open its doors in 2024 and play host to a number of top artists including Take That, The Killers, Olivia Rodrigo, Barry Manilow, Eric Clapton and Manchester’s own Liam Gallagher, again adding to Manchester’s potential.
Other significant moments which have happened in Manchester this year include the reopening of Manchester Museum after a £15m transformation, the arrival of one of the most talked about musicals Hamilton and the highly-anticipated Aviva Studios playing host to the Manchester International Festival featuring an exhibition by Yayoi Kusama. But the cultural achievements continue into the new year as Manchester welcomes Wicked to the Palace Theatre stage as well as a host of theatre productions alongside big names performing at some of the city’s outdoor concerts and festivals.
Some of us may be crying out “where have you been?” when it comes to Manchester’s amazing potential (and what it has already achieved), but with more on the horizon for the city, it seems Manchester is making its mission to become greater (pun intended). The city may have been snubbed from having HS2 extended this far north but let’s just say some are a little delayed getting on board the Manchester train…