past couple of years have seen a phenomenal transformation in Manchesters sporting
and cultural life. Not only did the City stage whats widely agreed to be the
Commonwealth Games ever but an unrivalled flourishing of galleries, museums, visitor
attractions and festivals have added some real depth to an increasingly vibrant cultural
to Manchester are adding almost £2bn to the Manchester economy according to a GTS study
commissioned by Marketing Manchester. The research revealed the number of tourists
visiting Manchester in 2001 had increased by nine per cent since 1999 and five per cent
compared with 2000. Altogether more than 81 million people visited Manchester in 2001,
boosting the Citys economy by £1.7bn.
such as Urbis, the revamped Manchester Art Gallery, The Imperial War Museum North and the
Lowry Arts Centre were, it was found, the main reason for many peoples visits. Crowd
pulling events such as the UEFA Champions League final and the Europride Festival will
undoubtedly play a major role in boosting tourism in the City by the end of this
COMES TO TOWN
now officially the UKs most bohemian city, is the gay capital of Europe for ten days
from August 15 as the biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) event comes to
Manchester 2003 is the tenth EuroPride and the City joins Paris, Berlin, Stockholm and
Rome in hosting a festival that celebrates LGBT life. The only other time the event was
held in England was in London a decade ago, but in 2003 it comes to what has been titled
the nations friendliest gay city.
organisers estimate some 300,000 people will take part in the packed event programme, with
more than half coming from overseas. With an increase in hotel income, the restaurant,
club and bar activity particularly during the first weekend and the final Big
Weekend, it is calculated that the event will be worth some £22m to
Manchesters burgeoning cultural economy.
final weekend (22 25 August) centres around the gay Village. A six foot high
barrier will be in place and access to the event site is by pre-purchased ticket only.
Income from ticket sales will cover security and fencing and the remainder will be paid
out in full to Operation Fundraiser, the organisation responsible for raising funds for
HIV and LGBT charities. With ticket sales at this stage looking extremely robust, the
Operation Fundraiser target of £30,000 to charities and organisations looks
WAR MUSEUM NORTH
Imperial War Museum North, in Salford, has welcomed over 450,000 visitors and achieved its
first annual target after only six months since it opened in July last year, shortly
before the Commonwealth Games. Summer 2003 sees events such as the museums first
birthday celebrations and a programme of exhibitions to coincide with Europride 2003 in
August is set to attract more visitors.
to the Lowry by Parkman & Casados footbridge, the spectacular £28m museum
building is the first building in the UK designed by internationally-acclaimed architect,
Daniel Libeskind. Clad in aluminium, IWM North is a visionary emblem of war and reflects
the innovative approach of the entire project. The stunning exterior is based on the
concept of a globe shattered by war and conflict.
Closed for four
years, Manchester Art Gallery opened to great acclaim last year with a new £35m
extension. The reborn gallery, which celebrated its first birthday on 25 May this year,
has exceeded all original visitor targets. Initial targets of 150,000 visitors were
reached within three months of the re-opening and figures since then are estimated to have
hit 400,000. Events such as the UEFA Champions League Final and Europride in August will
no doubt see a further increase to these visitor numbers.
to the citys reorganised and extended gallery has been overwhelmingly positive. In a
recent visitor survey, 91 per cent of respondents agreed Manchester Art Gallery was
something to be proud of with 93 per cent of visitors intending to return and 92 per cent
stating they would recommend the gallery to friends and family.
addition to the City skyline and one which is fast becoming one of its most recognised
buildings is Urbis. Part of Manchesters £42m millennium quarter, Manchesters
museum of urban life contains exhibitions, a shop and restaurant, and has attracted
250,000 visitors since opening last year.
On top of the
creation of 2,000 jobs, City Council-owned assets around Urbis have already generated an
extra £10m for the council and that is expected to double over the next 12 months.
THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
Hot on the heels
of the triumph of Manchesters Commonwealth Games came the success of the Champions
League final in May, when AC Milans victory over compatriot team Juventus, gave
added weight to the Citys reputation for sporting and organisational excellence. The
event itself, which attracted 50,000 visitors, was worth some £15m to the City.
hosting of the iconic Final combined sporting excellence with a European culture-fest
which saw crowds of fans from all over the globe soaking up the Manchester sunshine and
enjoying the atmosphere. Fans from both teams mingled peacefully whilst being entertained
by street entertainers. Manchesters hotels were filled to capacity and other tourist
and leisure attractions within the city benefited.
The Final on 28
May also contributed to the busiest day in Manchester Airports history. It is
estimated that between 28-29 May an additional 242 commercial flights carried an
additional 43,438 extra passengers in and out of the airport. With this boost of extra
business and the airports current passenger growth projections, Manchester Airport
is said to be on track to break the 20 million-passenger target for the financial year
A year on from the spectacular 2002
Commonwealth Games, research carried out for the City Council reveals some of the long
lasting benefits for the city.