Mancunians: Proud, passionate, edgy, and want to do the best for themselves and for the city.

Howard Bernstein (Former CEO Manchester City Council) said, on stepping down from the role he has held for nearly 20 years, that he will remember Mancunians as “Proud, passionate, edgy, and want to do the best for themselves and for the city”. His legacy is certainly one of great change over that period and it will be interesting to see whether there is a change of approach by both his successor at the Council, Joanne Roney and the new Greater Manchester Mayor following the elections on May 4th.

It is impossible at this stage to predict who will be the victor in the mayoral elections however the person that takes on that mantel has a great region to work with which has seen some amazing developments over the last few years with more to come. It will be interesting to see whose vision for Greater Manchester leads to success at the polls.

By way of example Manchester city centre alone has or will soon see:

  • £110 million Factory Manchester arts space has recently received planning approval to be built on the former Granada studio site and will create over 2500 jobs and add £138 million a year to the local economy.
  • Allied London’s tech hub to be located in Enterprise City focussing on retail, media and TV.
  • Bruntwood/MSP tech hub will be located in Oxford House, Circle Square on the former BBC site and will be a major new tech and science business destination.
  • The transformation of St Peter’s Square is almost complete, with the new opening of the second Metrolink crossing being a key component of this regeneration.
  • The controversial £200 million St Michael’s development fronted by Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs is on hold following a very poor response to the public consultation including a formal objection by Historic England describing the development as damaging to the ‘city’s historic heart’.
  • Manchester Town Hall is set for a major 330 million refurbishment, with suggestions to include raising more income from that iconic building that could even include a small boutique hotel.
  • Piccadilly Gardens is undergoing a revival by the City Council and Legal & General including the removal of the controversial wall.

All in all this is an exciting time for Greater Manchester and whoever is elected Mayor and has the role of working with the 10 local authorities to develop this region is in for a busy and challenging time.

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