Despite residents often having to step over a pile of sick on their doorstep and a recent spate of mobile phone thefts, Manchester's Northern Quarter has won an award as the UK's best district.
Northern Quarter beat off competition from Cathedral Quarter in Belfast and Pollokshields in Glasgow to win the Great Neighbourhood of the Year Award 2011 for Britain and Ireland at the Academy of Urbanism Awards in London.
The judges were taken on a tour of the Northern Quarter in the summer by city council and Cityco representatives and were said to be impressed by its charm and the friendliness of the people they met.
Cllr 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."
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."