Paul Jones

My Place | Monton

Being the next big thing can be a curse as well as a blessing, so how do places like Monton maintain their identity as they become more popular, writes Paul Jones of Capital & Centric.

Dubbed the ‘new Didsbury’, Monton in Salford has surged in popularity in the last few years. With a busy high street full of independent eateries, bars and shops it appeals to people who want the café culture but perhaps somewhere a bit quieter. Whether you want a coffee, a meal or a couple of drinks it’s all on your doorstep. But if you fancy dancing the night away it’s dead easy to get into town.

You can see why it’s become a hit with young professionals that might be starting to think about kids and want everything that urban living offers but with the nurseries, parks and schools that the city centre can’t deliver.

Sure, its location certainly helps with its appeal. In commutable distance to Media City and the centre of town it’s unsurprisingly been a hit with people working at the BBC. It’s also got the Loopline – a disused railway line turned into over 7km of traffic-free walking and cycling routes – which starts in the village.

But its more than that. What Monton’s got, which so many other places fail to deliver, is a really strong community spirit. You can feel it when you walk down the high street on a Saturday. The business owners have been investing in new shop fronts while the community groups organise regular local events. This is a community with a sense of pride that works together.

So, what’s not to love? Well, popularity means price rises. Monton’s gone from being prime fodder for first time buyers to slightly out of reach for many looking to get on the property ladder. Inevitably that’s seeing the surrounding areas in Eccles get a bit of the action so it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Being the next big thing can be a curse as well as a blessing. There’s a danger that success attracts chain retailers and Monton loses its independent spirit. We need a wider range of interesting and independent businesses that can add to the daytime and nighttime offer. But they need to be the right kind of businesses that care about the village’s future – as owner occupiers are more inclined to do – and add to the village atmosphere and community spirit that makes it special.

We’re going to need a lot more Montons to deal with the demand for suburban living that’s coming down the track. As millennials start turning 40 this year, more and more will be looking for utopia – a house that’s affordable, with some outside space, in a location that’s commutable to work and where there’s plenty going on. There’s a huge opportunity for other Greater Manchester towns to become the places that young people aspire to live – and they could learn a lot from Monton. Creating that sense of community spirit isn’t something that’s easy to do but it’s what takes a place and makes it a home.

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Good ol’ Monton Carlo

By SalfordLad

It’s still Salford though and always will be

By Liv

Regular visitor to monton love the place something for everyone.support your local businesses.

By Andrea Hartley

Glad Monton is still a lovely village,but it hasn’t got half the shops it used to have,all independent shops,a real variety of goods.But so glad it hasn’t been spoilt.xx Very happy memories of MONTON.

By Chris Hyde

I live in Monton. We’ve been here for 14yrs. Yep it’s a great place to live, but its growing popularity brings it challenges; mainly the loud music at the park and general after hours noise, litter etc. I agree it needs a better range of independent shops. Too many cafes, nai lbars and hairdressers. Tesco dominate trade and i expect this puts potential independent traders off. All that said I can’t comllin. We love it here and wouldn’t live anywhere else.

By Dave

Yes, Monton is great. I live there – but l’d rather drink in Eccles!

By Phil Wilson

Put a couple of slot machines around and you’ll have Las Vegas. With all the bars and eaterys/ bars on this little passing through stretch this is how Las Vegas started. With bridle and getting your hair n nails done, with a church at the end,
You’ll walk in at 1 end, get a drink and another, by the time you walk out the other side you’ll be pronounced Man & Wife. Alot of the places haven’t been thought about, just thrown in there. With this so called community you speak of it’s the modern community not the community that’s been here 4 the last 40 50+ years that has seen this be a quiet quant little stretch with essential Shops, 3 main pubs and a couple of restaurants for evening meals, 2 an all in your face buffet of glamour. Look at the history of the place and what was here before to all that is now. Shops and other establishments were what were essential for those who didn’t want to travel out or couldn’t travel out as far, It was all on your door step. A sense of relaxation. What I’m saying is maybe not everyone In monton wants didsbury or alderly edge, you leave those places there, just give monton what it needs and not what others want it to be.

By Gazza ( local )

Great place to live! So many nice walking routes nearby and good places to eat!

By Tracy

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