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“A city in a state of constant renewal and reinvention…alive, organic and growing.”
Manchester is one of Britain’s most important cities. It has been since the 18th century, when it was at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution and led the world into the modern industrial era. But when the IRA bomb exploded in 1996, it sparked a regeneration in the city that continues right to this day.
Consequently Manchester’s centre is a fantastic place to live – with all the trappings of the capital, but a distinctly ‘village’ feel. It has an eclectic mix of old and new, with futuristic shapes and innovative architecture alongside the spires and gargoyles of its proud past. The 47-storey Beetham Tower is one such contemporary glass-and-steel landmark, the thinnest skyscraper in the world and home to the Hilton Hotel and its chic sky bar, Cloud 23. From here you can see as far as the Welsh mountains, Liverpool and Blackpool Tower.
80 of the Times Top 100 companies have offices here, as do 60 foreign and international banks – and the city welcomes 60,000 higher education students – so it’s little wonder it has such a buzz about it.
Retail in detail
Funky fashionable chic and sleek? Manchester does it better than anywhere else. From vintage one-offs in the Northern Quarter to designer stores like Harvey Nichols and Selfridges or boutiques for Louis Vuitton, Armani, Westwood and Calvin Klein, it’s all here. The Arndale Centre – ripped apart by the bomb – has now become one of Europe’s largest and best malls. Nearby St Anne’s Square and the converted Corn Exchange (now called the Triangle) are both havens for shopaholics.
Outside the city centre is the huge shopping and leisure complex at The Trafford Centre. It’s the largest of its kind in Europe covering an area equal to 30 football pitches (and still growing!) and includes shops, restaurants, a cinema, bowling and more. There’s also a full size golf driving range complex close by, plus the UK’s most authentic indoor ski resort, with the world’s widest real snow indoor slope.
Sport and culture
Manchester has two Premier League football teams, Lancashire County Cricket Club and Sale Sharks Rugby Union Club. It also has three Universities, two symphony orchestras, and more theatres than any other city outside London – and its museums and galleries hold world-class exhibitions throughout the year at the Museum of Science & Industry, the Imperial War Museum North and Urbis, to name but a few. Or you can enjoy a diverse range of shows, concerts and events at the Lowry Centre, the MEN Arena and Manchester Central (G-MEX).
From the 1980s onwards, the city’s music has influenced popular culture. Its live venues offer a chance to spot the next Smiths or Oasis, while its club scene – made famous by the Hacienda – continues to draw crowds. It also has a vibrant gay and lesbian community, the area known as the Gay Village having pavement cafes and bars that create a cosmopolitan ambience, especially in summer. You’ll find every type of ethnic cuisine on offer too, with an endless choice of cutting edge designer eateries to traditional watering holes.
Leave it all behind
While the city centre’s dazzling, there’s also a lot to discover outside Manchester. Within an hour’s drive are three National Parks – the Lake District, the Peak District and Snowdonia. The great country houses of Tatton Park and Lyme Park are within easy reach, as are the towns of the Fylde Coast and the cities of Lancaster, York, Chester and Liverpool.
Further afield? Manchester Airport is the gateway to over 200 destinations worldwide, Liverpool john Lennon Airport is just 45 minutes drive and the train to London now takes just over 2 hours.
Thinking of moving to Manchester?
Then hopefully you’ve found this guide helpful. Now all you need to do is contact our specialist consultants, who can advise you on legal and solicitor job opportunities in Manchester and across the North West.
For more information on Manchester and the surrounding area, go to www.visitnorthwest.com