Driving into work this morning I heard an interview by ex Fall bandmember Brix. Moving over from America in the 70's she made Manchester her home. Citing 20 plus bands (including The Clash and The Fall) were born out of The Sex Pistol now iconic gig at The Free Trade Hall there, she spoke openly about her first impressions on the city.
It hit me quite how much the area has changed during the intervening years - especially the last five to 10. Upon plonking her suitcase down "Brix" felt isolated, wondering what she had done. Underneath dreary, grey skys, she walked through the town center of boarded up shopfronts and litter. There was little sign of investment (or pride) in the city.
40 years on, well done the North West! Talking as a southern, with no previous knowledge of the area prior to moving up 12 years ago, I love the area for its culture, buzz and city center.
The largest will see Balfour Beatty now start work later this year on the University of Manchester’s £350m engineering campus. The Manchester Engineering Campus Development will be one of the largest, single construction projects ever undertaken by a higher education institution in the UK. At 195m long, the development’s main building – MEC Hall – could easily accommodate Manchester’s tallest building, Beetham Tower, laid sideways. Architects Mecanoo designed the flagship project which will open in 2020 and bring together a multi-disciplinary engineering and scientific community and consolidate the University’s student campus around Oxford Road.