A strategic plan for the next three years of development in Manchester city centre is to be discussed at the city council’s executive meeting on Wednesday, before being put out to public consultation.
The vision for the city centre until 2018 looks to build on the successes of the previous 2009/12 strategy, with a goal for the city centre to be “a place to invest, to work, to live, to shop, to enjoy, that brings people together and a place that is easy to travel to for leisure or employment, and to get around once there”.
According to the draft strategy, “the vision is of Manchester as a world class city as competitive as the best international cities across the globe.”
The strategy looks to root Manchester’s position as the main economic hub in the region, and help rebalance the economic dominance of London and the South East through major investment, to support growth of the city and the city region.
The document celebrates achievements since 2009, including the completion of the first phase of the NOMA development, the delivery of HOME, and the refurbishment of the Town Hall complex and enhancement of Central Library and St Peter’s Square.
The strategic plan goes on to outline the position and priorities for each of the city centre neighbourhoods, and the key infrastructure investments which are critical to the success of the city centre.
The neighbourhoods are:
- St Johns (former ITV site)
- First Street
- The Corridor Manchester
- Aytoun Campus
- Central Business District
- Medieval Quarter
- Great Jackson Street
- Salford Central and Greengate
- Water Street
- Irwell River Park
- Retail Core
- Northern Quarter
- The Village
Key infrastructure investments will focus on:
- Digital development
According to the council, the population of the city centre has trebled in the last decade to almost 25,000 people, and more than 140,000 people work in the city centre, with further increases expected over the next five years.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The city centre is the beating heart of Manchester’s economy, and so it requires a considered strategy that provides the framework to support our objectives. To do this we must be ambitious and position ourselves as a global city to attract major national and international investment – securing long-term growth and employment.
“Of course, the other side of this strategy is ensuring that the thousands of people who live in the city centre are provided for with attractive neighbourhoods and good quality, sustainable housing and open public spaces – with the infrastructure in place to make travel into and across the city centre as easy as possible.”