Manchester’s Northern Quarter beat off stiff competition from other shortlisted nominees including Cathedral Quarter in Belfast and Pollokshields in Glasgow to win the award for the UK’s best neighbourhood.
Manchester City Council and Cityco, Manchester’s city centre management company, picked up the Great Neighbourhood of the Year Award 2011 for Britain and Ireland at the Academy of Urbanism Awards in London.
The awards recognise the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments and are run by The Academy of Urbanism, whose 450 members include industry-leading architects, planners, engineers, developers and designers.
The judges were taken on a tour of the Northern Quarter in the summer by City Council and Cityco representatives and were impressed by its charm and the friendliness of the people they met.
Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s city centre spokesperson said: “I’m really pleased the Northern Quarter, widely recognised as Manchester’s creative quarter, has received this award. This part of the city has evolved organically into one of the most culturally rich parts of the city centre. There’s a real community feel to the place. The warmth of the people that live and work here, and the cluster of small business has created a very desirable neighbourhood. Visitors feel very welcome and this area, with its network of quaint little streets is a huge asset to Manchester.”
Vaughan Allen, chief executive of Cityco, Manchester’s city centre management company said: “The Northern Quarter has in recent years transformed itself and diversified, creating an eclectic mix of fashion designers, independent shops, bars, cafes and restaurants, creative agencies and private galleries. There is a village-like vibe which makes it truly unique and a great place to live, work and play. It’s fantastic that this really special part of the city centre has been recognised in this way.”
Commenting on the award, John Thompson, chairman of the Academy of Urbanism said: “Thanks to a long-term programme of development and regeneration, the Northern Quarter has become a vibrant contemporary extension to Manchester City Centre, while retaining its own unique character and charm. The Academy of Urbanism created these awards to recognise places which had helped enhance the quality of life – the Northern Quarter is a wonderful example of this.”