Manchester city centre

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Manchester city centre
Manchester from the Sky, 2008.jpg
Aerial view of Manchester city centre from the south, looking north.
Greater Manchester UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Manchester city centre
Location within Greater Manchester
Population17,861 (2011)
OS grid reference SJ839980
  London 163 mi (262 km)  SE
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district M1, M2, M3, M4
Dialling code 0161
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
  • Beth Knowles(Labour Co-op)
  • Kevin Peel(Labour Co-op)
  • Joan Davies(Labour)
List of places
Greater Manchester
53°28′45″N2°14′39″W / 53.479167°N 2.244167°W / 53.479167; -2.244167 Coordinates: 53°28′45″N2°14′39″W / 53.479167°N 2.244167°W / 53.479167; -2.244167

Manchester city centre is the central business district of Manchester, England, within the boundaries of Trinity Way, Great Ancoats Street and Whitworth Street. [1] [2] The City Centre ward had a population of 17,861 at the 2011 census. [3]

Central business district commercial and business centre of a city

A central business district (CBD) is the commercial and business center of a city. In larger cities, it is often synonymous with the city's "financial district". Geographically, it often coincides with the "city centre" or "downtown", but the two concepts are separate: many cities have a central business district located away from its commercial or cultural city centre or downtown, or even several CBDs at once. In London, for example, the "city centre" is usually regarded as encompassing the historic City of London and the mediaeval City of Westminster, whereas the City of London and the transformed Docklands area are regarded as its two CBDs. In New York City, Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the city and in the world; yet Lower Manhattan, commonly called Downtown Manhattan, represents the second largest, and second, distinct CBD in New York City and is geographically situated south of Midtown. In Chicago, the Chicago Loop is the second largest central business district in the United States and is also referred to as the core of the city's downtown. Mexico City also has a historic city centre, the colonial-era Centro Histórico, along with two CBDs: the mid-late 20th century Paseo de la Reforma – Polanco, and the new Santa Fe.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. With a population of 545,500 (2017) it is the sixth largest city in the United Kingdom. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Great Ancoats Street street in Manchester, United Kingdom

Great Ancoats Street is a street in the inner suburb of Ancoats, Manchester, England. Much of Great Ancoats Street was originally named Ancoats Lane and was the location of Ancoats Hall. The street passed through a thriving manufacturing area during the 19th century. It was in close proximity to the Ashton and Rochdale canals. A number of cotton mills built in the early and mid-Victorian period are nearby, some of which have been converted into residential or office buildings, such as Albion Mills. The Pin Mill Works at the junction with Fairfield Street was a late 18th-century pin works, that became a cotton mill run by J & J Thompson and works for dyeing and calico-printing. Brownsfield Mill, a Grade II* listed building, was built in 1825.


Manchester city centre evolved from the civilian vicus of the Roman fort of Mamucium, on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. [4] This became the township of Manchester during the Middle Ages, and was the site of the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. [5] Manchester was granted city status in 1853, after the Industrial Revolution, from which the city centre emerged as the global centre of the cotton trade which encouraged its "splendidly imposing commercial architecture" during the Victorian era, [6] such as the Royal Exchange, the Corn Exchange, the Free Trade Hall, and the Great Northern Warehouse. [5] After the decline of the cotton trade and the Manchester Blitz, the city centre suffered economic decline during the mid-20th century, [7] but the CIS Tower ranked as the tallest building in the UK when completed in 1962. [8]

<i>Castra</i> ancient Roman fortification

In the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, the Latin word castrum was a building, or plot of land, used as a fortified military camp. In English, the terms Roman fort, Roman camp and Roman fortress are commonly used for castrum. However, scholastic convention tends toward the use of the words fort, camp, marching camp and fortress as a translation of castrum.

Mamucium Mancunium

Mamucium, also known as Mancunium, is a former Roman fort in the Castlefield area of Manchester in North West England. The castra, which was founded c. AD 79 within the Roman province of Britannia, was garrisoned by a cohort of Roman Auxiliaries near two major Roman roads running through the area. Several sizeable civilian settlements containing soldiers' families, merchants and industry developed outside the fort. The area is a protected Scheduled Ancient Monument.

River Medlock river in Greater Manchester, England

The River Medlock is a river in Greater Manchester, England, which rises near Oldham and flows south and west for ten miles to join the River Irwell in Manchester city centre.

The city centre acts as the transport interchange for Greater Manchester and over 7 million people live within an hour's drive of it. The 1996 Manchester bombing provided the impetus for the redevelopment of the city centre [9] and an upturn in retail, leisure, offices and urban living. [10] [11] [12] The economy of the city centre is built primarily on retail and services, accounting for nearly 40% of Grade A city centre office space outside London. [13] [14]

Greater Manchester County of England

Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford. Greater Manchester was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, and designated a functional city region on 1 April 2011.

1996 Manchester bombing Terrorist attack

The 1996 Manchester bombing was an attack carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) on Saturday 15 June 1996. The IRA detonated a 1,500-kilogram (3,300 lb) Lorry bomb on Corporation Street in the centre of Manchester, England. The biggest bomb detonated in Great Britain since World War II, it targeted the city's infrastructure and economy and caused devastating damage, estimated by insurers at £700 million – only surpassed by the 2001 September 11 attacks and the 1993 Bishopsgate bombing in terms of financial cost.


One of the boundary signs of the former township of Manchester on the banks of the Medlock Township of Manchester.JPG
One of the boundary signs of the former township of Manchester on the banks of the Medlock

Manchester evolved from the civilian vicus associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium, which was established c. AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell, in a position defensible from the Brigantes. [4] Once the Romans had abandoned Britain, the focus of settlement shifted to the confluence of the rivers Irwell and Irk. [15] During the Dark Ages which followed – and persisted until the Norman Conquest – the settlement was in the territory of several different petty kingdoms. [16] In the Middle Ages, what is now the city centre was the township of Manchester.

River Irwell river in Lancashire, United Kingdom

The River Irwell is a 39-mile (63 km) long river which flows through the Irwell Valley in North West England. Its source is at Irwell Springs on Deerplay Moor, approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of Bacup. It forms the boundary between Manchester and Salford and empties into the River Mersey near Irlam.

Brigantes British tribe of the Iron Age and Roman era

The Brigantes were a Celtic people who in pre-Roman times controlled the largest section of what would become Northern England. Their territory, often referred to as Brigantia, was centred in what was later known as Yorkshire. The Greek geographer Ptolemy named the Brigantes as a people in Ireland also, where they could be found around what is now Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford, while another people named Brigantii is mentioned by Strabo as a sub-tribe of the Vindelici in the region of the Alps.

Confluence Meeting of two or more bodies of flowing water

In geography, a confluence occurs where two or more flowing bodies of water join together to form a single channel. A confluence can occur in several configurations: at the point where a tributary joins a larger river ; or where two streams meet to become the source of a river of a new name ; or where two separated channels of a river rejoin at the downstream end.

Manchester Castle  – a medieval fortification, probably taking the form of a ringwork  – was located on a bluff where the rivers Irk and Irwell meet. [17] The castle was first mentioned in 1184 and recorded in 1215 as belonging to the barons of Manchester, the Grelley family. [18] It has been described as "of no political or military importance". [19] The Grelleys replaced the castle with a fortified manor house, which in turn was replaced by a college of priests (founded in 1421). [20] In 1547 the college was dissolved and the property acquired by the Earl of Derby and early in the reign of King Charles II it was sold to the governors who had been appointed in the will of Humphrey Chetham. By royal charter in 1665 Chetham's Hospital was established and this became Chetham's School of Music. [21]

Manchester Castle medieval fortified manor house in England

Manchester Castle was a medieval fortified manor house, probably located on a bluff where the rivers Irk and Irwell meet, near to Manchester Cathedral, underneath where Chetham's School of Music now is, putting it near the edge of the medieval township of Manchester.

Ringwork A form of fortified defensive structure

A ringwork is a form of fortified defensive structure, usually circular or oval in shape. Ringworks are essentially motte-and-bailey castles minus the motte. Defences were usually earthworks in the form of a ditch and bank surrounding the site.

Baron is a rank of nobility or title of honour, often hereditary. The female equivalent is baroness.


Manchester city centre is part of the Manchester Central constituency, represented by Labour Co-op MP Lucy Powell. [22]

Manchester Central (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1974 onwards

Manchester Central is a constituency created in 1974 represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2012 by Lucy Powell of the Labour Party and Co-operative Party.

Lucy Powell British politician

Lucy Maria Powell is a British Labour and Co-operative politician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) Manchester Central since winning the seat at a by-election in November 2012.

The City Centre ward was divided in 2018 between two new wards, Deansgate and Piccadilly. [23]


Piccadilly Gardens, a green space in the city (view towards Market Street) Piccadilly Gardens.jpg
Piccadilly Gardens, a green space in the city (view towards Market Street)

The city centre has variously been defined as those parts of the city within the Manchester Inner Ring Road, [24] or else the entire area within Manchester's Inner Ring Road, thereby encompassing a part of the administratively separate City of Salford, [25] and an area of Oxford Road to the south. [26] Political and economic ties between the city centre and neighbouring Salford and Trafford have strengthened with the shift from town and district centres to metropolitan-level centres in England. [25] [27] Manchester city centre is the commercial heart of Greater Manchester [26] [10] [28] and with adjoining parts of Salford and Trafford is defined as its Regional Centre for urban planning and public transport purposes. [26] [27] [28] [29] [30]

Castlefield retains much of its industrial character which is juxtaposed by modern buildings. Beetham Tower, Manchester 01639.jpg
Castlefield retains much of its industrial character which is juxtaposed by modern buildings.

There is little order due to the manner in which the city rapidly developed during the Industrial Revolution nor much agreement on the differing areas in Manchester city centre. However many areas and streets in the city centre have a distinctive character with identifiable clusters of industrial warehouses, civic buildings and modern developments. Many of these distinctive areas are covered in 14 city centre conservation areas which are defined by Manchester City Council.

These are essential ingredients to the City's sense of place, providing aesthetic quality and strong references to the City's past, which will always be a central part of Manchester's character. Development which fails to respond to the opportunities that this context affords should not be supported. Recent development, including Urbis and the Courts of Justice, has demonstrated how modern architecture of the highest standard can succeed alongside the established built fabric of the City Centre.

Manchester City Council planning policy on conservation areas in the city centre, [31]


Castlefield is an area in the extreme southwest between Deansgate and the River Irwell with the sites of the Roman fort and Liverpool Road Railway Station. It retains much of its industrial character and is the only Urban Heritage Park in the United Kingdom. and is marked by its mercantile 19th warehouses and adjoining wharfs which were used to transport goods from Manchester during the Manchester's industrial era. Today, Castlefield is quiet and noted for its waterside bars and pubs. Notable structures include Manchester Liverpool Road station which was the first inter-city railway station on the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830. Today the station frontage remains and is Grade I listed, as is the adjoining 1830s warehouse. The structure now forms part of the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). For many years Castlefield was on a tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Status for its industrial past – particularly in regards to the development of the canal as a mode of transportation and the railway. [32]

Northern Quarter

The Northern Quarter is known for its warehouses and considered a bohemian part of the city centre. High Street, Manchester Northern Quarter.jpg
The Northern Quarter is known for its warehouses and considered a bohemian part of the city centre.

The Northern Quarter is in the northwest and is known as a hub for alternate and bohemian culture in Manchester. Previously the area was the retail heart of the city centre but with the opening of the Manchester Arndale in the 1970s patronage gradually dwindled and vacant buildings were commonplace. In the late 1980s the area was renamed as the Northern Quarter in the hope that the area would be reincarnated from the ground up. Following the boom of the late 90s and early 2000s the area has become a popular destination for shops, bars, restaurants and nightclub – many of which have an independent ethos. [33]

Central Retail District

Market Street Market St, Manchester.jpg
Market Street

The opening of the Manchester Arndale in 1975 shifted the retail focus towards the area bounded by Market Street, Corporation Street, Withy Grove and High Street. Despite the Arndale's unpopularity with many critics, it has been described as an outstandingly successful shopping centre by visitor numbers and spending. Today the Arndale attracts 41 million visitors a year and is the largest city centre shopping centre in the United Kingdom.

The area has been extensively redeveloped after the IRA bomb of 1996, contains Manchester Cathedral, Shambles Square, Exchange Square, Cathedral Gardens as well as shopping streets Market Street and King Street. Since the bomb, Selfridges, Marks & Spencer and NEXT have opened dedicated large stores in the area. Although not all shops are strictly in the retail area with many on Deansgate and King Street – a short walk from the area.


Spinningfields is the designated business district in the city centre. Spinningfields - - 1639624.jpg
Spinningfields is the designated business district in the city centre.

Spinningfields is an area in the west adjoining the middle part of Deansgate and the main business district of the city centre. The proposal to create a designated central business district originated in 1997 when Allied London purchased a number of buildings around the John Rylands Library. Allied London executive Mike Ingall was convinced of site's regeneration potential and Manchester City Council was keen to redevelop the city centre after the 1996 Manchester bombing. [34] The development, named from a narrow street which ran westwards from Deansgate, is bounded by Bridge Street to the north, Quay Street to the south, Deansgate to the east, and the River Irwell to the west. [35]

The area is noted for glazed, modern buildings – many of which are offices. In 2010, Spinningfields accounted for 35% of the city centre prime office space with 44 commercial organisation employing nearly 20,000 people. [36] Notable buildings in the area include 1 The Avenue, 3 Hardman Street and the Civil Justice Centre – short-listed for the Stirling Prize and noted as a landmark building for its distinctive cantilevers. Future buildings include the Cotton Building and construction commenced in summer 2014 and will be completed by 2016. Construction on a new 90 metre office tower, 1 Spinningfields could also commence in 2015 after a securing a pre-let in late 2014.

Aside from offices, Spinningfields was home to a number of high end retail units such as Armani and Mulberry. However, with the main retail district being on the opposite side of the city centre, these units struggled. [37] In recent years the district has cultivated a far more successful image in the food and drink offering with a number of popular restaurants and bars in the area. Footfall, particularly in the evening after work hours, has increased, and revenue from retail and leisure in Spinningfields has risen from £10 million in 2008 to £50 million in 2014. [38]


Piccadilly Gardens from City Tower Piccadilly Gardens - - 1462705.jpg
Piccadilly Gardens from City Tower

Piccadilly is the transport interchange of the city centre with rail, tram and bus services all within a five-minute walk. The area is typically busy with pedestrians commuting to and from the city centre. The area is dominated by Piccadilly Gardens. It is the largest public square in the centre which was redeveloped in the early 2000s but not to a universally positive reception. For over 150 years Manchester Royal Infirmary was located on the site but closed in 1914. A few years after closure the hospital was demolished and public space was created with a landscaped garden set into the ground – hence the name. The area has a dedicated tram station and bus station which has over 20 stands. Most of the stands are located on the south-west side of the square with the rest on the north side.

Peter's Fields (Civic Quarter)

Peter's Fields (Civic Quarter)

Peter's Fields, now known as St Peter's Square sits at the top of Oxford Road and Peter Street and extends east towards Princess Street. It is noted for its purpose as a civic area and includes important buildings and monuments such as Central Library, Midland Hotel, YMCA Building, Manchester Town Hall and Town Hall Extension – all of which are listed. It is described by Manchester City Council as "perhaps the greatest collective accolade to Manchester's original modern heritage". [39] The Square is famous for the Peterloo Massacre in 1819 when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 that had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation on what was previously fields – hence the name Peter's Fields. A monument to commemorate the nationally importantly event in the struggle for suffrage is expected to be commissioned for 2019 to mark the 200th anniversary of the massacre. [40] In recent years, the square has been redeveloped with new high-rise office buildings, One St Peter's Square and Two St Peter's Square with further buildings approved for the derelict Odeon site and London Scottish House adjacent to the Midland Hotel. [41] As part of the redevelopment, the Cenotaph was relocated outside Manchester Town Hall in 2014 and St Peter's Square tram stop will be redeveloped with an additional platform and new configuration in 2016.


The paifang in Chinatown. China Town, Manchester 2012.JPG
The paifang in Chinatown.

Chinatown is an area to the south of Piccadilly Gardens with many oriental restaurants and other facilities of a far eastern character. It is the second largest Chinatown in the United Kingdom and the third largest in Europe. [42] The first settlers to arrive in the city came in the early 20th century; according to the BBC, "Many arrived alone and were engaged in what was seen as the traditional trade of laundries." [43] Manchester's first Chinese restaurant, Ping Hong, opened on Mosley Street in 1948, [43] on the eve of a Chinese immigration wave that would commence during the 1950s. [44] Manchester did not have a significant Chinese population, reaching only about 2,000. [45] However, after World War II, there were severe labour shortages, and in response, the government passed the British Nationality Act 1948, which allowed easier access into the country. [45] Additionally, Hong Kong's rapid urbanisation meant that many farmers and traditional residents' homes were being destroyed by the urban sprawl, so many decided to migrate. [44] [45] The area's beginnings are rooted in the restaurant business, as many Chinese restaurants surfaced soon after the immigration boom. By the 1970s other Chinese businesses began to emerge, such as medicine shops, Chinese supermarkets, as well as financial and legal services, all serving the employees of the expanding number of Chinese restaurants in the area. [44] [45] The area has retained a far eastern character ever since and in 1987 a paifang archway was installed to as a gift to the Chinese community and to reflect the far eastern heritage of the area.

Canal Street

Canal Street Canal street manchester.jpg
Canal Street

Canal Street, often known as the Gay Village, is a part of the centre east of Portland Street and west of Whitworth Street through which runs the Rochdale Canal; it contains many bars, clubs and other facilities – many of which are focused towards the gay community. The area has long been associated with the gay community with links going back to the early 20th century when homosexuality was still illegal. During the industrial years the area was a red light district during the evening but with the gradual collapse of the cotton industry urban decay set in.


Central compared
2001 UK censusCentral [46] City of Manchester [47] England
Total population11,689392,81949,138,831
Chinese or other8.0%2.7%0.9%

At the 2001 UK census, the political ward of "Central", which covers an area of 2.14 square miles (5.54 km2), had a population of 11,689 with a population density of 5,460 inhabitants per square mile (2,108/km2). While this was lower than the population density for the whole city (8,798 inhabitants per square mile (3,397/km2)), the proportion of land dedicated to domestic buildings was lower in the ward than in the whole city (6.7% compared to 8.0%). [48] There was a female-to-male ratio of 100 to 113, much higher than the 100 to 95 ratio for all England. [49] Of those over 16 years old, 65.7% were single (never married), 13.7% married, and 8.7% divorced; this was significantly different from the national figures of 30.2% single, 43.5% married, and 8.2% divorced. [50] The ward's 6,188 households included 61.1% one-person, 8.6% married couples living together, 9.0% were co-habiting couples, and 12.4% single parents with their children; compared to national figures, there was a high proportion of single person households, and a low proportion of married couples living together. [51] Of those aged 16–74, 30.5% had no academic qualifications, lower than the figure for the City of Manchester (34.0%) but slightly above that of the whole of England (28.9%). [49] The ward had a significantly higher percentage of adults with a diploma or degree than the city or England as a whole. Of the ward's residents aged 16–74, 26.3% had an educational qualification such as first degree, higher degree, qualified teacher status, qualified medical doctor, qualified dentist, qualified nurse, midwife, or health visitor, compared to 21.4% in Manchester and 19.9% nationwide. [49]


Manchester City Centre skyline in 2009. Manchester In Colour!.jpg
Manchester City Centre skyline in 2009.

Deansgate and Market Street are the centre's principal retail streets and King Street (with high-class shops) and St Ann's Square are known for their specialist fashion and other shops. There is also a large indoor shopping mall called the Manchester Arndale Centre. Manchester city centre has several large department stores including Marks and Spencer and Debenhams on Market Street, House of Fraser on Deansgate, Harvey Nichols on New Cathedral Street and Selfridges in Exchange Square. There are many leisure facilities in the city centre including the Printworks, a large facility containing a cinema (including an IMAX screen), numerous bars, clubs and restaurants and also Manchester's first Hard Rock Cafe. The Northern Quarter, centred on Oldham Street, is known for its Bohemian atmosphere and independent shops and cafes. The landscaping of the city centre has provided several public spaces including the newly developed Piccadilly Gardens, which incorporates fountains, green spaces, a concrete wall, and a Metrolink station (it has not been improved by the construction of an office block to the east). Exchange Square is located near Urbis, formerly an exhibition centre focusing on city life but closed and re-opened in mid-2011 as the National Football Museum. Both Piccadilly and Exchange Square are used for screening public events. Two of the city centre's oldest buildings, The Old Wellington Inn and Sinclair's Oyster Bar, were dismantled, moved 300 yards and re-erected in 1999 to create the new Shambles Square adjacent to Manchester Cathedral. [52]

There are a great variety of restaurants in the city centre including a number owned by Paul Heathcote the chef. There is also a good stock of hotels in the city centre which include the Midland, Jarvis Piccadilly and Ramada Renaissance.


The Royal Exchange Building which is home to the Royal Exchange theatre. Royal Exchange Building.jpg
The Royal Exchange Building which is home to the Royal Exchange theatre.

Manchester city centre has many nightclubs, many of which follow in the footsteps of the Haçienda nightclub which has now closed; the site has been redeveloped as a housing complex. There is a gay village around the Canal Street area in the east of the city centre, which plays host to an annual Gay Pride Festival, and a large Chinatown with numerous far eastern style restaurants. The area to the west which is bisected by Deansgate and crossed by Peter Street is also well-provided with bars and some clubs (e.g. The Moon under Water and Ampersand). Rafters was a nightclub located in St James's Buildings. A number of bands played concerts at Rafters in the 1970s and 1980s. Rafters closed in 1983. In its final years the DJ was Mike Shaft who appeared on Piccadilly Radio with Takin' Care of Business. After that the club was renamed as Jilly's which existed to 1993, after which the club was called MusicBox. [53] The city centre also has many bars, mostly located in the Northern Quarter, regarded by some as the central district's creative hub. The quarter is well-provided with bars of various sizes; these include TV 21, Bar Fringe, the cocktail bar Apotheca and Trof. Live music venues may also be found here, including the Night & Day Cafe, MOHO Live and jazz bar Matt & Phred's.

There are two major theatres in the city centre, the Palace Theatre (opened 1891) and the Manchester Opera House (opened 1912). [54] In 2008, plans emerged to redevelop the Palace Theatre as a northern base for the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet however these plans were shelved and both theatres were purchased by the Ambassador Theatre Group for £90m. [55] In recent years the Group have launched the 'Manchester Gets It First' campaign and a number of high-profile musicals have premiered in Manchester such as Ghost in 2011. [56] The Royal Exchange, a nationally known theatre company which specialising in new productions of the classics and is known for its 'the round' layout. The Cornerhouse, at the top of Oxford Road and opposite the Palace, is a venue for the visual arts and contains several cinemas which show mainly art house films. A new Cornerhouse and Library Theatre building will open at First Street in 2015 providing a larger home for both companies. [57]

Manchester Art Gallery, opened in 1824, welcomes over half a million visitors every year and is one of the largest galleries outside London. [58] The Manchester Museum of Science and Industry in Castlefield explores the industrial heritage of the United Kingdom with emphasis on Manchester. The People's History Museum explores the social history of Manchester and the United Kingdom. Many galleries and museum exist outside the city centre in Manchester and Greater Manchester such as the Whitworth Art Gallery, Imperial War Museum North and The Lowry.

Galleries and museums in Manchester city centre


Construction continues on Victoria station and 2CC as a tram departs the station in 2014. Tram leaves Victoria 2014 during re-construction works.jpg
Construction continues on Victoria station and 2CC as a tram departs the station in 2014.


Manchester City Centre has four railway stations in the Manchester station group: Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road and Deansgate.

Manchester Central Metrolink lines
to Bury
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Exchange Square
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Market Street
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St Peter's Square
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( National Rail logo.svg Deansgate)
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New Islington
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Metrolink is the light rail tram service that operates in Central Manchester. The services are usually 6 mins in the peak and 12 mins off-peak to most destinations, all of which are within Greater Manchester. As of 2014 there are seven lines operating, connecting the city centre with termini at Altrincham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, East Didsbury, Eccles, Manchester Airport, MediaCityUK, Rochdale. A new line through the city centre is being constructed.

Metrolink stops in the city centre currently are:

Two stations used to serve the city centre but have been closed:

Second City Crossing (2CC)

To facilitate the Metrolink expansion and increased tram frequency an alternative route through the city centre is required. The 2CC runs from Victoria station to St Peter's Square via Exchange Square, Corporation Street, Cross Street and Princess Street. Utility works on re-routing gas and water supplies began in January 2014 and are expected to last for over a year. The works have impacted heavily on parts of the city centre with streets and pavements being closed off and awkward diversions introduced. [59]


There are also 2 major bus interchanges located in the city centre; Manchester Piccadilly bus station and Shudehill Interchange which all serve local bus services to areas in the 10 Greater Manchester boroughs, as well as some from the surrounding counties of Cheshire Lancashire Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Chorlton Street coach station provides long distance coach services operated by National Express to cities across Great Britain. Shudehill was opened so the bus system was directional.

See also

Related Research Articles

Castlefield human settlement in United Kingdom

Castlefield is an inner city conservation area of Manchester in North West England. The conservation area which bears its name is bounded by the River Irwell, Quay Street, Deansgate and Chester Road. It was the site of the Roman era fort of Mamucium or Mancunium which gave its name to Manchester. It was the terminus of the Bridgewater Canal, the world's first industrial canal, built in 1764; the oldest canal warehouse opened in 1779. The world's first passenger railway terminated here in 1830, at Liverpool Road railway station and the first railway warehouse opened here in 1831.

Northern Quarter (Manchester) area in Manchester, England

The Northern Quarter is an area of Manchester city centre, England, between Piccadilly station, Victoria station and Ancoats, centred on Oldham Street, just off Piccadilly Gardens. It was defined and named in the 1990s as part of the regeneration and gentrification of Manchester.

Deansgate railway station railway station

Deansgate is a railway station in Manchester city centre, England, approximately 1,100 yards (1 km) west of Manchester Piccadilly in the Castlefield area, at the junction of Deansgate and Whitworth Street West. It is part of the Manchester station group.

Deansgate road in Manchester, England

Deansgate is a main road through Manchester city centre, England. It runs roughly north–south in a near straight route through the western part of the city centre and is the longest road in the city centre at over one mile long.

St Peters Square tram stop

St Peter's Square is a tram stop in St Peter's Square in Manchester city centre, England. It opened on 27 April 1992 and is in Zone 1 of Greater Manchester's Metrolink light rail system. The stop's platforms were extended in 2009. Later redevelopment in 2015–16 demolished the original two platforms and replaced them with a four-platform interchange.

Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway

The Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway (MSJ&AR) was a suburban railway which operated a 13.7 km route between Altrincham in Cheshire and London Road Station in Manchester.

Spinningfields human settlement in United Kingdom

Spinningfields is an area of Manchester city centre, in North West England, developed in the 2000s between Deansgate and the River Irwell by Allied London Properties. The £1.5 billion project consists of twenty new buildings, totalling approximately 430,000 sq metres of commercial, residential and retail space. It takes its name from Spinningfield, a narrow street which ran westwards from Deansgate. In 1968, Spinningfield and the area to the south were turned into Spinningfield Square, an open paved area. The Manchester Civil Justice Centre is a landmark building of the scheme and construction commenced on 1 Spinningfields, a 90-metre office building, in early 2015.

Cornbrook tram stop

Cornbrook tram stop is a tram stop on Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink system in the Cornbrook area of Manchester, England. It is an interchange station, allowing passenger transfer between the network's Altrincham, Eccles, Airport and South Manchester lines. The station opened on 6 December 1999 for line transfers and allowed street-level entry and exit to the public from 3 September 2005. It takes its name from Cornbrook Road, between the A56 and Pomona Docks on the Manchester Ship Canal, and was built on what was a Cheshire Lines Committee route to Manchester Central railway station. The stop is one of the most used on the Metrolink network.

Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop

Deansgate-Castlefield is a tram stop on Greater Manchester's Metrolink light rail system, on Deansgate in the Castlefield area of Manchester city centre. It opened on 27 April 1992 as G-Mex tram stop, taking its name from the adjacent G-Mex Centre, a concert, conference and exhibition venue; the G-Mex Centre was rebranded as Manchester Central in 2007, prompting the Metrolink stop to be renamed on 20 September 2010. The station underwent redevelopment in 2014–15 to add an extra platform in preparation for the completion of the Second City Crossing in 2016–17.

Shudehill Interchange

Shudehill Interchange is a transport hub between Manchester Victoria station and the Northern Quarter in Manchester city centre, England, which comprises a Metrolink stop and a bus station.

Transport in Manchester

The transport infrastructure of Greater Manchester is built up of numerous transport modes and forms an integral part of the structure of Greater Manchester and North West England – the most populated region outside of South East England which had approximately 301 million annual passenger journeys using either buses, planes, trains or trams in 2014. Its position as a national city of commerce, education and cultural importance means the city has one of the largest and most thorough transport infrastructures which is heavily relied upon by its 2.7 million inhabitants in the Greater Manchester conurbation and further afield in the North West region. Public transport comes under the jurisdiction of Transport for Greater Manchester.

Architecture of Manchester

The architecture of Manchester demonstrates a rich variety of architectural styles. The city is a product of the Industrial Revolution and is known as the first modern, industrial city. Manchester is noted for its warehouses, railway viaducts, cotton mills and canals - remnants of its past when the city produced and traded goods. Manchester has minimal Georgian or medieval architecture to speak of and consequently has a vast array of 19th and early 20th-century architecture styles; examples include Palazzo, Neo-Gothic, Venetian Gothic, Edwardian baroque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the Neo-Classical.

Economy of Manchester

The economy of Manchester is amongst the largest in England. Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.55 million. Manchester's commercial centre is in Manchester city centre, focused on Spinningfields, Mosley Street, Deansgate, King Street and Piccadilly Gardens.

High Street tram stop former tram stop on Greater Manchesters light rail Metrolink network

High Street was a tram stop on Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink network, located in Manchester city centre, England. It was on the east side of High Street opposite Manchester Arndale, between Shudehill tram stop and Market Street tram stop.

Quay Street

Quay Street is a street in the city centre of Manchester, England. The street, designated the A34, continues Peter Street westwards towards the River Irwell and Salford. It is the northern boundary of Spinningfields, the city's business district and Castlefield, the historical area of the city lies to the south. Quay Street was created in the 18th century for access to a quay on the river and is lined by several listed buildings.

Manchester station group

The Manchester station group is a station group of four railway stations in Manchester city centre, England, consisting of Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria and Deansgate. The station group is printed on national railway tickets as MANCHESTER STNS. For commuters travelling from one of the 91 National Rail stations in Greater Manchester, the four stations are printed as MANCHESTER CTLZ which additionally permits the use of Metrolink tram services in Zone 1.

Greater Manchester bus route 2

Metroshuttle 2 operates in Manchester city centre from Shudehill Interchange via Manchester Victoria station, Manchester city centre, Deansgate station, Castlefield and Oxford Road station.

Greater Manchester bus route 3

Metroshuttle 3 operates in Manchester city centre from Manchester Piccadilly station via Spinningfields, Manchester city centre, Salford Central station, Albert Square and Manchester Gay Village.

Altrincham Line line of the Manchester Metrolink light rail system

The Altrincham Line is a tram line of the Manchester Metrolink running from Manchester to Altrincham in Greater Manchester. Originally a railway line, it was, along with the Bury Line, converted into a tram line during 1991–92, as part of the first phase of the Metrolink system.

Zone 1 (Manchester Metrolink)

Zone 1 of the Manchester Metrolink, light rail network, is the part of the system where trams run through the streets of Manchester city centre. Zone 1 forms the heart of the system where all of the other lines converge. The Zone was first opened in 1992 as the "City Zone", with a three-way street-running line across the city centre. The Second City Crossing (2CC), constructed to ease congestion on the original route, opened in 2017.


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