Manchester to review 10-year city vision

The council aims to update the Our Manchester Strategy, launched in 2016 as a blueprint for creating a healthy and prosperous global city by 2025.

Almost half a decade later, Manchester residents and businesses are being asked to supply feedback on how well the strategy is being implemented and what it has achieved to date.

Manchester City Council is seeking responses to a survey, called Our Future Manchester, which launched this week and runs until 23 September.

“Now is the opportunity to help reset the Our Manchester Strategy to make sure it works for the entire city,” the council said in a statement. The review is one of the first pieces of work to be part-overseen by Louise Wyman, Manchester City Council’s new strategic director of growth and development, who took up the post in June.

She told Place North West in an interview last month that as well as the Our Manchester Strategy, she also intends to refresh the Manchester Industrial Strategy, drafted last year with the intention of developing a more inclusive economy. Her ideas on future planning and development policy will also influence the Manchester Local Plan.

The city council said: “Strategy reset comes at a crucial time to ask residents how the city can become a better place for everyone, as Manchester moves beyond the pandemic.

“The basic principles of the Our Manchester vision hold firm, but it is understandable that as a city – and as individuals – our values and what is considered important may have changed. This is why taking a look at the plan for the city now is so important.”

The five principles of the strategy – and the chapters into which it is divided – are that the city should be:

  • Progressive and equitable, with improving public health, progress on devolution, and support for homeless people and other vulnerable groups
  • Thriving and sustainable, building on strengths such as life sciences and advanced materials such as graphene, at business hubs including Airport City and the Oxford Road Corridor
  • Liveable and low carbon, with investment in renewables, good quality housing in clean and cohesive neighbourhoods, and promotion of walking and cycling
  • Highly skilled, nurturing and attracting the talent needed to sustain economic success
  • Connected, with an “integrated, smart, clean transport network that reflects the city’s changing shape and the way people move around it”

The survey asks for feedback from the public about how the city is progressing in each of these fields, and notes that “our city still needs to be”:

  • Thriving — creating great jobs and healthy businesses people benefit from
  • Filled with talent – homegrown in all our local communities as well as the world’s best
  • Fair — with equal chances for all to unlock their potential, no matter where in our city they are born, or live
  • A great place to live — with lots to do, leading the way to a low-carbon future that creates new opportunities for our residents
  • Buzzing with connections — world-class transport and broadband infrastructure that enable Mancunians to get ahead.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The Our Manchester Strategy is a plan for the city that needs to work for us all and improve the life chances of everyone who lives and works in the city.

Sir Richard Leese Manchester City Council

Council leader Sir Richard Leese

“However, we know there are still areas where people are more disadvantaged than others, so clearly there is more to be done to reach those people.

“A successful city is one where no one is left behind, where everyone has a share of the city’s economic success, access to better paid jobs, education and training, and has a safe and secure place to live – with an expectation for high sustainability and low carbon standards.

“Covid-19 has undoubtedly set us back and puts into sharper relief the importance of a city plan that can help us recover as quickly as possible, for the benefit of every Manchester person.”

The council analyses progress made in the key areas of the strategy each year in its State of the City reports.

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