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Northern Quarter best UK neighbourhood

Trendy district beats Glasgow and Belfast to top prize

Published on November 22nd 2010.

Northern Quarter best UK neighbourhood

The Northern Quarter in Manchester is the best neighbourhood in Britain – according to London-based quango Academy of Urbanism.

The district beat shortlisted finalists Belfast and Glasgow to claim the gong in 2011 Great Neighbourhood of the Year awards.

Judges said the area had undergone ‘significant redevelopment and diversification’ in the last few years and was had become a ‘vibrant home’ to a mix of local businesses.

The academy’s members include architects, planners, engineers, developers and designers.

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 character.

“The Academy of Urbanism created these awards to recognise places which have helped enhance local quality of life – the Northern Quarter is a wonderful example of this.”Glasgow won European City of the Year and Hebden Bridge scooped Great Town of the Year.


Is the Northern Quarter the best neighbourhood in the UK? Is it the best neighbourhood in Manchester? Rant below...

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25 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2010.

Well, if you disregard the story last week about a 'spree' of phone thefts......

Anon - what?November 22nd 2010.

Anonymous, if there was nothing of attraction to rob, then the NQ wouldn't have won!

Ali McGNovember 22nd 2010.

Congrats to the NQ. When I moved to Mcr 14 years ago, I'm not sure the term Northern Quarter even existed. I did used to frequent Isobar and Dry Bar (bit scary!!) but there wasn't a huge amount going on. To see the streets coming alive with so many independents is just lovely and I'm glad we don't have any of your usual bloody bars down there. NOTE TO ANY SUCH OPERATORS: stay away!!!! :)

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2010.

'The academy´s members include architects, planners, engineers, developers and designers.'

But have these people flocked to live in the area or have they stayed in places like Bowdon and Hale?

Remember, these people are the same groups who gave awards to high rise flats and hell holes like the Hulme Cresents about 40 years ago - they praised them but would not have dreamt of living there themselves.

LJNovember 22nd 2010.

Annonymous - as a video editor, living with a graphic designer who've lived in the NQ for about 6 years, I can assure you I have no intention of living anywhere near Hale or Bowden.

sam saysNovember 22nd 2010.

The NQ? Really? It's a toilet.

Simon TNovember 22nd 2010.

So a 'neighbourhood' doesn't have to include a school or nursery - or in fact any sign of anyone under the age of 18. It doesn't have to include a church, mosque or synagogue? No park??? Nowhere for old people to sit and watch the world go by? No social housing? No life on a Sunday morning. No corner shop that's been in the family for years. Is that what it's come to??? I like the NQ, I wander around there, I like the independent businesses and the indian cafes, but at night it's like an overspill of the Printworks. It definitely isn't a 'neighbourhood' by any definition the great urban experts like Jane Jacobs would recognise. Ridiculous. "The London-based quango Academy of Urbanism" get your head out of your backsides lads.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 4th 2011.

spot on mate - I like the place but it is clearly just another GHETTO

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2010.

It's a load of tripe from a quango trying to justify it's future existance. I agree with Simon and Sam, it's not a particulary nice place, nor is it a real neighbourhood/community

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2010.

or *its* even

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2010.

The state secondary schools round there are dreadful. That's usually something most people have high on their list of desirable neighbourhoods when choosing where to live. Not the Academy of Urbanism though apparently.

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2010.

Anon, where are the secondary schools around the NQ? Genuine question, don't have kids so just wondering. Ta in advance

M30November 22nd 2010.

The NQ has some of the finest social housing in Manchester, if not the UK. The flats at the back of the Millstone and around the Wheatsheaf (cracking boozer) are all council houses. The fact there's not a school within miles of the NQ makes it all the more desireable IMO.

AnonymousNovember 23rd 2010.

I actually live in the Northern Quarter and don't know how they've decided it's Britain's best neighbourhood.
Having your home surrounded by loud drunks until past 5am every weekend is not high on most people's list when choosing an area to live in.

Kevin PeelNovember 23rd 2010.

I'm so proud to officially live in the Best Neighbourhood in the country - I've been saying it for ages, nice to see it recognised!

More needs to be done in terms of development and making the NQ greener, but it is a fantastic area to live and I'm excited about its future potential.

Burt CodeineNovember 23rd 2010.

Got to agree with some of the Anon's above. I too really like the area, but it's very far from being the finished article, never mind the best neighbourhood in the UK. It has great potential yes and the range of wonderful independents and mix of shops fantastic....but as much as it pains me to say, it's no Soho (or any of the global equivalents) just yet. There's a wealth of underused and unloved, stunning buildings however...needs a 'phase 2' now I thinks.

M30November 23rd 2010.

Anonymous - surely you knew what you were taking on when you moved to the Northern Quarter? You weren't exactly moving to Bramall.

You can't move to a part of a city with a high concentration of bars and complain about drunks at closing time; it's like those people who have moved near the airport yet complain about the noisy planes.

Unfortunately NIMBYfication will be what drives nine inch nails into the coffin of the Northern Quarter. Whilst I feel the area would benefit from some more social housing and amenities, it can only be a matter of time before "Concerned Residents" have every other bar closed down.

KPNovember 23rd 2010.

I love the Northern Quarter, I think it's an area that any city of this size would love to have, I love the cool cafes and bars. It bothers me when people move there and complain about the noise. I live in Castlefield currently and it's too quiet for me here, very little noise after dark, ideal for city dwellers who like it quiet, NQ should be the opposite, that's the appeal of the place.

AnonymousNovember 23rd 2010.

As a resident of the NQ for a very long time before it was termed the NQ - I would like to state as M30 did the NQ probably has more social housing than any other city centre area, it has a mosque and although we don't have a corner shop thats been in the same family for generations we have McCalls fruit and veg stall and their family have been in the NQ for years, its just a shame we don't have any of the other barrows anymore, and to those people who may call the residents NIMBY - I don't think anyone who moved to the area wanted it to turn into the next Deansgate Locks or Printworks - which unfortunatley it has the amount of stag and hen parties spotted at weekends but someone mentioned that they are no longer giving licences out in the NQ not sure if that is true?

AnonymousNovember 24th 2010.

M30 and KP - I know that living in the city centre comes with noise and I have lived in the city centre for many years without complaint. I too dislike when people move into the centre and expect it to be quiet. The issue I have is that over the last year it has gotten ridiculous (as mentioned it is now the Printworks/Deansgate overspill) and on a weekend the NQ is not what it once was. I don't mind noise but people walking past my bedroom unneccessarily shouting and screaming till 5am is not great.
I enjoy living in the NQ but what I meant by my comment is that the vast majority of people would not enjoy living in a neighbourhood where it's hard to get a full night's sleep. A minority would believe it's a brilliant neighbourhood to live in but I doubt the majority would.

M30November 24th 2010.

I think it's time for a move to Cheadle Hulme, Anonymous. I lived on Whitworth Street for years and years, and people coming and going at all hours in all states is one of the trade offs you pay to live in the centre of the Barcelona of England.

To suggest that it's the wrong sort of drunks implies that you're just not happy that it's people from Burnley and Macclesfield who are drinking around the Northern Quarther rather than bearded synth playing hipster types with lenseless glasses.

The Northern Quarter was always going to "do a Deansgate Locks" - I remember when the Locks made Panacea look like Wetherspoons on Piccadilly. The Village, also became a victim of its own success.

To moan that the NQ has become an "overspill of Deansgate Locks / Printworks" sounds incredibly snobby, and also makes me want to ask who made you gatekeeper of the Northern Quarter? After all, I thought it was meant to be an inclusive place and an antidote to the cliquey and exclusive bars across town? Evidently not...

AnonymousNovember 24th 2010.

M30 - I made no suggestion that the 'wrong sort of drunk' is from Burnley or Macclesfield. I suggested that the wrong sort of drunk is one that has no regard for walking through a residential area and screams their head off at 5am. I'm not sure why you're so insistent on labelling me a snob but I do not think it is snobby to dislike rude, inconsiderate people. I have lived here for years and have previously had no issues with the level of noise but now I am woken up all night by people brawling inches from my bedroom. It is just my opinion but that is not my idea of Britain's best neighbourhood.
I wouldn't live here (although I am moving) if I didn't think it was a good neighbourhood but what I am saying is I don't see how it is Britain's best (in my opinion, which I am entitled to).

AnonymousNovember 24th 2010.

Every one their goat as the French say. Anyway the Northern Quarter is being reunited as far as the Police and Council are concerned and it is even going to have a management committee, with six councillors to help! so the last contact meeting with Ward Co-odination and City Centre residents were told.

They were campaigning like mad during the consultation on licensing policy (the new one starts second week in January) for an area of culminative impact ( the business of stopping more bars )

You can reduce noise coming from bars into your flat.At least on Friday and Saturday Night MCC Environment is on call on 954 9000 8pm- 4pm

For street noise you can fit as some of us have done extra glazing. For noise outside a particular bar and behavioural problems "licensing" may help (they also have a patrol and join with the police in applying for bars to be shut if they don't comply. Leave a message the same way marked for Licencing's attention but maybe in the day.

If the sweepers come round more than twice a night leave a message for Street Scene on contact@manchester.gov.uk

But if it all get too much move to the country where only the birds, barking dogs and amorous moggies will disturb.

M30November 25th 2010.

"...has no regard for walking through a residential area and screams their head off at 5am"

Anonymous, you're entitled to your opinion, but what you said sounded like it's been taken from the minutes of a meeting of the Bramhall Neighbourhood Watch.

The NQ isn't a Cheshire Suburb. Surely you knew what it was going to be like before you moved there. Moaning about noises from a busy and bustling area is like moving to Alaska and moaning that it's too cold.

mikeySeptember 4th 2011.


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