A vision for the future
Home to two of the largest Football club’s in Europe, Manchester has transformed in the last 20 years. With the focus on Manchester at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, increased devolution to the city, increasing levels of Chinese investment, Manchester is the fastest growing market, outside London, in the UK.
Manchester today is in many ways unrecognisable when compared with Manchester in the 1980s and 1990s. It has undergone a huge physical transformation alongside a transformation in its economy, its population and the quality of its environment. However, the culture and values of Manchester remain rooted in its history as the world’s first industrial city. It continues to be a place that is innovative, enterprising and pioneering. There have been major changes to the physical and social fabric of the city since 2005 and, importantly, the people who live and work in Manchester, the ‘Worker Bees,’ report they have seen major changes for the better too.
There are two principal reasons for this success, first strong and consistent leadership from Manchester City Council. Second, the development of a clear vision for the city that is deeply grounded in the thoughts and feelings of the people of Manchester.
In 2015, the City Council asked the people what their Manchester of the future could look like, what their hopes and dreams were for the city they live in. The response was overwhelming. The ‘Our Manchester Strategy,’ was developed as a result of that consultation and sets a long-term vision for Manchester’s future and describes how it will be achieved.
There are five themes to the Our Manchester strategy:
- A thriving and sustainable city
- A highly skilled city
- A progressive and equitable city
- A liveable and low-carbon city
- A connected city
The current and future success is not simply about what is happening in Manchester, but is inextricably linked to what is happening beyond the city’s boundaries in other northern cities such as Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle. Manchester is working closely with these cities to create the Northern Powerhouse and generate growth and opportunities across the north of England.
The city has a tradition of looking outwards: to other international cities such as Wuhan in China, where strong civic relationships have been built; within the wider region, working increasingly closely with neighbouring cities and areas such as Cheshire; and within Greater Manchester, which has a single economy and the scale required to make an impact, whether negotiating with the Government or attracting overseas investment. The ‘Our Manchester’ vision is for Manchester to be in the top ﬂight of world-class cities by 2025.
The city will:
- Have a competitive, dynamic and sustainable economy that draws on our distinctive strengths in science, advanced manufacturing, culture, and creative and digital business – cultivating and encouraging new ideas
- Possess highly skilled, enterprising and industrious people
- Be connected, internationally and within the UK
- Play its full part in limiting the impacts of climate change
- Be a place where residents from all backgrounds feel safe, can aspire, succeed and live well
- Be clean, attractive, culturally rich, outward-looking and welcoming
The Our Manchester Strategy charts a course to achieve this vision. It builds on the city’s existing long-term strategic direction and sets out priorities for the decade ahead. It will be delivered by building on Manchester’s history of collaboration: between civic leaders, businesses, the wider public and voluntary sectors, and residents themselves.
Faithful+Gould is supporting the city with our expertise on iconic projects like the Our Town Hall refurbishment , volunteering, creating social value, but principally just getting involved with ‘Our Manchester!’
As a member of the steering group for the Our Manchester Strategy, I would love to hear any of your ideas for taking Manchester to 2025 - connect with me below.
You can view the full strategy here.