Manctopia Skyline
Manchester's population is set to double over the next five years

REVIEW | ‘Manctopia’ is shallow attempt at tale of two cities

Sarah Townsend

The first episode of BBC Two’s four-part series about the building boom in Manchester makes for far-too-easy viewing as it fails to shine a light on the complex economic drivers behind the city’s breathtaking growth in recent years.

Sarah Kb Edit

Manctopia: Billion Pound Property Boom meets the people living and working in Manchester’s residential development market. Filmed over 12 months, the series aims to tell the story of one of Britain’s fastest developing cities, whose population is set to double in the next five years.

The first episode, which aired on Tuesday night, sets up this story as a tale of two cities – the wealthy developers constructing thousands of swanky new flats on derelict swathes of land and the investors looking to buy them, versus the people that for whatever reason are not benefitting from the boom and are being priced out of the city centre or falling between society’s cracks.

The episode starts in a light-hearted tone with glamorous Manchester-born estate agent Jennie Platt recalling times dancing at the Haçienda nightclub in the 1990s, while driving to show prospective buyers including fashion designer Helen, who has 250 pairs of shoes, around luxury apartments.

One of the viewings is of a £1.4m penthouse available for rent at £8,000 per month. Platt notes that many of her clients are wealthy overseas investors, and says that for Manchester to be “sustainable, we will need to build more affordable housing in the city centre, too”.

The next story is of Salford-born Christina Hughes, an employed single mother-of-two living in Winton and portrayed as a victim of the housing race. Presented with an eviction notice due to a change in her landlord’s circumstances, Hughes – who says she has never missed a single rent payment – finds that private rents in her local area have increased so much since she signed her lease that she can no longer afford to pay them.

Her only way of remaining in the area she knows and loves is to be catapulted onto the desperate council housing waiting list, bidding on a slim pool of potential properties while living in her mum’s bungalow. She eventually finds a small two-bedroom flat to accommodate her family and seems resigned to, if not happy about, her much-changed quality of life.

The episode pans to Tim Heatley, co-founder of developer Capital & Centric, standing at one of his development sites in Piccadilly East, currently a red light district, and observing a ‘price list’ detailing the cost of blowjobs and other services scrawled on a scrap of paper pinned to the railings.

“We’ve got…this kind of activity…right next to a block of apartments, some of which will cost a million quid,” he says, scratching his head, both sympathetic to and troubled by the reality of the area he is hoping to regenerate.

“You can feel the city bashing up against itself,” Heatley adds. “And you get the feeling that now the [development] has started, it has to happen. It can’t fail now – too much money has been put into it. It could all go catastrophically wrong if people don’t buy into the vision.”

Heatley’s keen observation could be the start of an interesting investigation into the socioeconomic and capitalist considerations that the property industry grapples with daily, but the episode hurriedly moves on.

The final character in the piece is Richard, who worked as a school janitor for a decade before suffering mental illness after the death of his brother and losing his girlfriend, job and home.

Sleeping in one of the city’s many homelessness shelters, Richard describes how he has lost hope and “doesn’t give a shit about anything anymore”, but he smiles for the first time in a long while when eventually placed in temporary accommodation and given the opportunity for a fresh start.

Richard’s story is perhaps the only one with sufficient depth and scrutiny, but overall the episode fails to explore the various threads it opens in any meaningful, analytical way. Heatley comes over well, but to interview only one developer – particularly when the development industry is implicitly blamed for the problems the less fortunate characters in the episode face – is a huge oversight that is sure to disappoint the region’s property professionals.

Manchester faces the same problems many other growing regional capital cities have, and it remains the envy of smaller UK cities – but this episode sadly only scratches the surface of its highly complex growth story.

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Needed more Deloitte schemes

By Bert

An excellent summary, I’m aware that other developers were approached but when their PR advisors heard about Capital + Centric already taking part, they were discouraged from going head to head against them

By Dave Smale

Manchester isn’t a “growing regional capital city”. The capital city is London.

Be the capital of Manchester if you like, but you’re not ours.

By Mike

The same stories could have been filmed anywhere in the country – Social housing and homelessness are not an issue unique to Manchester & Salford. No questions about who is actually responsible for welfare or why councils are not building new social housing. Every town and city has this issue in the UK.

Not sure how building a block of flats in the city centre on a disused warehouse makes it harder for a person in Eccles to get social house. There was very little information on regeneration in the city, it was simply a backdrop for stories

So what if someone wants to buy a penthouse… very little on the vast majority of people that actually live in the city.

This wasn’t the city I know. A totally bait & switch.

Expect they will blame private landlord, foreign investors and property developers for the failings of our welfare system.

By Deran Bored of bread

I didn’t watch it due to the fact that there’s more than one city in northwest England, and Manchester is always favourited whilst Liverpool is sidelined. #northwestism

By Michael McDonut

It looked quite dystopian if you ask me. It lacks the calm and peace of some other cities .. Liverpool for example.

By Liverpool romance

Left wing nonsense from the BBC as per usual

By Jeff

Manchester aside, allowing overseas buyers to purchase apartments when they may rarely ever visit the city is not sustainable for society. It is the sort of narrow minded neo-liberal economics that was drawing increasing scepticism by 2019 and which COVID-19 will hopefully start to usher a departure from. I’m fed up of seeing so many homeless people of all ages, it is not a good look for Manchester and suggests the city’s leaders are out of touch with their citizens.

By Anonymous

I agree with the author, I expected more from a BBC programme, it was the TV equivalent of click-bate headlines. I only hope the first episode was a general introduction and the follow up episodes go into a lot more detail.
I hope they get more construction professionals on like Tim and can give a real insight to open discussion on the direction the city is going.

By Phil McKrackin

There should have been a focus on Manchester City Council and how developments are approved without any percentage of affordable housing

By urbanista

Landlocked with no sea air. All the ingredients of a depressing existence.

By L5 alive

The woman who needed a bedroom for her shoes was surely an actress? There is another programme about Manchester’s success called “Missguided.” Manchester’s future is safe if it is the hands of girls like them. Unbelievable ambition and optimism but without an ounce of pretentiousness.

By Elephant

Sarah, why would the BBC let the facts get in the way of a good story? Manchester has 58% of all properties in the cheapest council tax band; the city council will beat its affordable housing target by 1,400 units by 2025, and at April 2019 there was £1.4m of cash from developers for affordable housing (and I am well aware of many, many s106 agreements now being in place for significantly more. The Council, through their partnerships, will build even more over time (One Manchester) and are seeking more from developers. In fact the city and developers could actually be congratulated on turning Manchester into a success all round. Of course the BBC could have looked at the Right to Buy Policy as well. Valuable housing stock still being lost through no fault of the Council or developers

By Nick Lee

Missed opportunity by the BBC and the film makers – very lazy journalism.

By Monty

Liverpool is better, looks better and feels better don’t forget Manchester had about 10 years development ahead of Liverpool now it’s about 3 plus Liverpool has an advantage in more ways than one it’s a waterfront city with a Superport

By Anonymous

Don’t see it and don’t get the hype

By Anonymous

One thing it failed to adhere to (in the first episode anyway) was the continuous destruction of built heritage by Manchester & Salford City Councils. The character of these areas have changed beyond recognition and we will come to regret much of the poor quality new builds as we do The Arndale.

By Observer

Amazing how everyone remembers sneeking in underage to the Hacienda. This is one step up from Housewives of Cheshire… No need to return to this tired stories of have and have nots

By Paul T

It was simply awful

By Dan

I enjoyed the programme. Tim’s and Christina’s stories need telling, but I’m not convinced they directly influence one another. City centre apartment building ostensibly sits on land which was previously in industrial or commercial use. In a way the apartment boom can help alleviate pressures in the suburbs if it takes young people out of these locations for a length of time.

I suspect it won’t happen but I’d love a later episode to interview someone from the GMSF team and talk about Christina’s plight in the context of GM Local Authorities seeking to dampen housing targets. This, to me, has a much more direct interplay with Christina’s story.

By NC

@Mike….I doubt Manchester would ever want to be the capital of your city. It`s got enough problems of its own.

By Poynton guy

I don’t think Heatley came across well at all. Seemed to be devoid of empathy for those less fortunate and treating the homeless charity role as a tick in the box.

Using the old strap-line “people make places”, but only the wealthy ones apparently…

By Deeley

I suppose we’ll have to wait and see how the other episodes pan out. However, on this evidence, it’s just another barely concealed reality TV piece which doesn’t reveal anything more than is already widely known. I was very disappointed.

By Tony Alex

Woah, the liverpudlians are so jealous

By Dan

Crusader includes no affordable housing, a complete failure by MCC. But the scheme is backed by borrowing from the GM Housing Investment Fund. Yes the money is repaid with interest, but the finance should come with obligations to help achieve other policy objectives. Also, when many of the city renters want to move out of the urban centre where will they go? Supply and demand will drive up prices with limited development in the suburbs. Great if you own property already but not very easy to get on the ladder.

By Castlefielder

Based on that first episode I’m not sure the PR machine that is Capital & Centric did its job. Couldn’t help but get the feeling that Tim’s role on the homeless front was merely about feathering his own nest on the PR front to suit his own business objectives as opposed to any other philanthropic reason, but maybe that was the steer the TV company wished to put on it.

By BDAY

The programme was interesting. At the end of the day it was never supposed to be a full independent public enquiry into what’s going wrong with the system, it’s an entertainment programme looking at the lives of people involved with or affected by property issues. Overall, I think it made Manchester look like a pretty attractive place to live. Bearing in mind 75% of Londoners have never even visited Manchester, I think they’d be pleasantly surprised by what’s been achieved in the city. Developers and agents will always be seen as fair game and I think Tim Heatley came across as fairly down to earth and doing his bit for disadvantaged people, which if we’re all completely honest with ourselves (including me), is probably far more than 99% of the viewers or Place’s readers. Easy to be a keyboard warrior, more difficult to actually put your head above the parapet and try to raise money to deal with these issues. Christina’s story was sad and probably very common throughout the country but as Deren implied, there are wider issues here to do with the successive government’s lack of investment. I’m not sure why anyone would assume it’s a good idea to rely on private companies to deliver accommodation for the homeless or affordable housing. There always seems to be government money available to build art galleries and and cultural facilities so maybe as a country we need to spend a few years prioritising less advantaged people in terms of their housing needs. One thing is for sure, stopping more homes being built, upmarket or not, is only going to exacerbate the demand and supply gap which is causing the problem in the first place.

By Derek

Will Manchester eventually grow so big it will have a waterfront? Liverpool? Or Scarborough perhaps?

By Elephant

Its not shallow just because it tells the real story rather than being full of adverts for estate agents. Why should I have to live in a hovel in Trafford bar and earn a pittance just so we can have a `capital city` city center for posh people from London or even people who dont even live here at all. The effect on house prices is everywhere not just there. There’s no affordable housing in or even close to the city center. Manchester city center. Where no one has a Manchester accent and all us Mancs are good for is the rubbish jobs serving the London folk with too much money. You lot live an entitled bubble, no clue

By Sarah

‘Manchester faces the same problems many other growing regional capital cities have, and it remains the envy of smaller UK cities’ – beautifully put

By Anon

@Elephant. Would rather give the brown murky Merseyl waters a miss thanks.

By Anonymous

so at the end, the people needing affordable accommodation got it, and the millionaire looking for a penthouse couldn’t find one…do we need more penthouses and less affordable then? :)

By sui generis

Sally Lindsay i believe was born in Stockport and so hardly a Mancunian. I suspect any reference to the housing boom in and around Media City will fail to state that this is in fact in Salford…which is an older city than Manchester.

By Lemonzest

What is it with our Liverpudlian cousins? Yes we know you have a waterfront and some pretty buildings but this article is about a TV programme which wildly exaggerated the impact of the private property boom in Manchester and Salford on homelessness it wasn’t about which city has the best seaview if it was Liverpool wins hands down.

By Monty

@Elephant. They often boast that Manchester has got everything but a beach? Well you can’t have ours!

By Liverpool romance

I live in Deansgate Square, there are a lot of Mancunians living here, I have neighbours from Blackley, Moston and Burnage,These are not just for those born rich, anybody can make it in Manchester.

By YS

@lemonzest – It’s not. Salford was granted city status in 1926, Manchester received it in 1853.

By Manc

watched it with my wife, who works in the City Centre but not in property, here take on C&C was of course he wants homeless off the streets, its bad for business, and sure enough 10mins later the same words were uttered. oh and if we are comparing Manchester to Liverpool, whats the going rate on Merseyside for services? , more than 4.99?

By cheshire lad

Oh dear, another one with a chip on their shoulder. The city centre is NOT just full of ‘posh people from London’ but in fact ordinary young Mancunians and salfordians as well as young families, retired people and individuals from around the country who earn average wage, often share flats and choose to live close to their place of work. That’s ultimately what’s fuelling this boom. It’s absolutely not affecting your neighbourhood – there’s practically no link between city centre development and inner city / suburban development.

By Fish n Chips

Other developers were asked to participate but gave it a miss. It’s a PR puff piece, why would anyone want to take part? It doesn’t even scratch the surface on the housing and social issues any regional city faces.

By Name it

The great place of Salford was here first and become a town borough in 1230 and it was made a city in 1926.. Manchester was given a town charter in 1301 and a city in 1853..

By Darren born bred.

Salford / Manchester / Stockport – it’s all the same thing.

By Un-pedant

I’m hoping the ‘Manctopia’ series will improve ‘cos it needs to! In 1994 I opened Manchester’s first BackPackers Hostel; before Manchester realised it had much in the way of a tourism industry and 2 years before the 1996 European Cup and the IRA bomb that decimated and sped up the redevelopment of city centre Manchester. The massive development that is taking place in our city centre is effectively destroying much of what made tourists want to visit the world’s first industrial city as it provides a home for all the cash that is flying around the world searching for a safe home and, in the process, pushing local people out: nothing unusual there! Raquel Rolnik’s “Housing Under The Empire of Finance – Urban Warfare” is a good place to learn more about the worldwide monetisation of housing.

By Maggie Joan Haggas

Some of the comments on here just make me laugh. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to buy a property in Manchester City Centre nearly five years ago when I was 24. I’ve only got this through going to university and trying to better myself, I am also from Blackpool which is one of the poorest towns in the country. Yet all I see on here are negative comments about people like me. I am completely for affordable homes but why should they be in a somewhere like the Crusader Mill? Some of those apartments will fetch 400k plus so why should someone be entitled to that for a reduced price? I have no doubt that there aren’t enough affordable homes built in this country and I actually thought the lady on the programme completely deserved to be helped out but I just don’t think that affordable homes should be a point of contention everytime a new premium development is announced.

By Scott

I think it will be interesting to see where people actually CHOOSE to live once the engineered pressure to move to certain places ebbs away.

By Michael McDonut

Sarah, Manchester has become more soulless with these glass towers and still more are being built, Manchester City Council should be looked at in great detail in this programme for allowing this to happen. As someone born in Manchester I have to say I envy Liverpool with their waterfront, somewhere to escape to on a beautiful day, Manchester on the other hand has the once great Piccadilly Gardens which is now home to the homeless, asylum seekers, drug addicts, and other third world types, it’s an absolute Sh** hole so well done Manchester city council for ruining a once great city.

By David

Liverpool will be swallowed up as Manchester expands at the rate it’s going. As has been mentioned elsewhere it can become our west shore waterfront so we too can enjoy the small town calm and peace scousers are so famed for !

By L5Romance

I know lots of Mancunians who live in the city centre it is a myth that the new flats are full of Londoners. A similar myth also exists in Bristol and Bath.

By Lenny68

They don’t care about the poor in the surrounding areas that have lived there since birth,all they care is money and not about you and me .manchester is turning in to London . hole

By Mancstar

We’ve won the pools the council estate has been given a face lift

By Anonymous

Surely they mean the city centre’s population is about to double in 5 yrs not the whole city? Non the less remarkable..I walked around Ancoats and the Northern quarter the other day for the first time in a few years and couldn’t believe the money that must have been spent in areas I remembered as derelict and forgotten in the 70s and 80s..There’s still much to do but slowly but surely it’s being done.

By Nve

Manchester is not attractive whether you like it or not.

By Anonymous

I guess if we all shut our eyes and pretend there is no housing crisis, there are no homeless on our streets, a hard working woman has no right to expect a garden for her small children to play in and that wealthy developers can worm their way out of affordable housing/s106 commitments, then those of us lucky enough to have good jobs and decent homes really have nothing to worry about. Problem solved. Much better to engage in a pointless argument with our friends down the M62.

By Jezza

Manchester will never be our regional capital city. The founders of Liverpool had a vision for the city. They new it was set in a very special place, and they new what it could become. We still have that vision. Liverpool is built around a beautiful bay, and it has the feel of a world city, with all of the cultural attributes of a world city to match.

By Red Squirrel

At the end of the day, it’s expensive tower block appartments everywhere in Manchester and city of Salford. The people buying them are fortunate to have money to buy a little box (flat), what about the homeless.

By Darren born bred.

David, or should that be LiverpoolRomance. Your love of your home city is to be admired but your obsessive envious comments only detract from the points you are continually trying to make. Yes Liverpool is calm, peaceful and everything is wonderful there I’m sure, but not everything is about Liverpool and coming on pretending you are other people while making the same silly comments is pretty childish isn’t it.? Cmon lad you’re better than that!

By Anonymous

So much baiting in these comments it’s ridiculous. If you think some of the comments are genuinely from Liverpool residents your gullable as. The investment boom in central Manchester has been somewhat seismic, but some of the views across the city shown how much development has bulk but is really forgettable from a visual interest point of view. They need to push stronger on some of the aesthetic and value engineered schemes, same issue we have with newer developments here in Liverpool.

By L8

@Liverpool romance. Go out and breath in some sea air and calm down. No one in Manchester wants your beaches, they are pulling your leg. I wish Liverpudlians would be obsessed about somewhere else for a change, like Leeds, or Birmingham winning the commonwealth games.

By Anonymous

Agree it was over simplified by the producers. For me it was nowhere near as critical as i was expecting. Olly Wainwright would have been a good interviewee on the equity of the developer model and the inertial of the City on affordable homes. Rather than Eccles they could have found the single mum anywhere across (greater) Manchester and that was the point. While i get it that the city centre all looks exciting and fast-moving, I don’t blindly celebrate it like the ‘get it built’ crowd. It’s overseas money and overseas profits putting your grandkids in a 500 sq ft box for £1200 a month. Nothing distinctive, nothing northern, nothing Manc about most of it.

By Bob Allatt

The more of these schemes take place, the more souless and artifical Manchester will become and look, tower after tower and not a very welcoming place.
The tower geeks might wish for more and drool over plans but for a city the size of Manchester, it will spoil it’s ambience and appeal as a people and street friendly place to live.

By Babel Towers

@David. I arrived in Manchester in the late 80’s and my memories of the time were that as much fun as Manchester was, it was a bit of a dump. The Gardens were redeveloped because of the drug use and ASB as well as not having the cash to maintain the gardens. Just because there are some pretty postcards showing it in it’s former glory doesn’t mean it was like that day in day out. Hardly anyone lived in the city centre, nor wanted to. The estates surrounding the centre suffered from poverty and deprivation and weren’t places to visit safely. Given the 1992 version of Manchester and the 2020 version, I’d pick this, warts and all.

By Harpsicord

@Sharah I totally disagree with your comment – I’m a Manc and lived in the city centre for several years, although I’ve now moved out. From my recollection everyone I was on talking terms with in my building was from the Greater Manchester area…today, I have several extended Family members and friends (all born in Manchester) who live in city centre apartments. This whole narrative of these city centre properties not being for local people is just silly, and it’s just not the reality.

There is without question a housing problem in Manchester just as there is in pretty much any other U.K. city; however this problem existed long before the current property boom of the city centre. Local people who do well for themselves and are able to afford these properties, should not be demonised or looked down on. The real pressure needs to be applied to the government, it’s the only way we are going to get large amounts of social housing built. The reality is however, that no government of the past 30 years has shown any desire to address this issue.

By Manc Man

Sounds like Manchester’s extraordinary growth is being watched by all even if the program is a little reality TV and therefore short on facts. The place will keep growing though. way too much money involved now.

By John

@by Manc. I stand corrected but you miss my point. Some people and places simply don’t wish to be branded ‘Manchester’.

The great place of Salford was here first and become a town borough in 1230 and it was made a city in 1926.. Manchester was given a town charter in 1301 and a city in 1853..

By Lemonzest

Manchester isn’t a village up on the moors, it’s a major city which has had canals, railways and roads to the rest of the country for more than a hundred years. Obviously local people should be able to afford somewhere to live but it’s naive to expect that people wouldn’t want to move into a successful city from elsewhere. I know people living in the city centre who come from Sale and Hyde and Romania and Spain – long may that continue.

By Southerner

Yet more BBC over hyping of their pet project Manchester. I’m from the Midlands where a similar building boom is happening in central Birmingham but the BBC aren’t interested because they decided they don’t like the way we speak. I do however like Manchester but I think Liverpool knocks spots off it and has it own building boom going on but again it doesn’t interest the BBC. Probably the accent again!!

By DaveTheRave

Property boom? The state of it compared to London , looks like a cheap council estate

By Anonymous

Funny enough, flew into Manchester airport today and the view I the city was impressive.

By Phildered

There is a real rags to riches story about Manchester.
Parts of it can only be improved.
The Liverpudlians can’t handle it, like a spoilt brat that isn’t getting what they want. Manchester is much cooler and deals with criticism quite well.

By Anonymous

I thought the program was ok – better than this review

By Stuart

Why do Liverpool posters always make it about them? It’s so parochial. Can’t we look objectively at a neighbouring place and go from there? Because of the dominance of the public sector in Liverpool, it seems that a lot of these detractors don’t seem to understand that the bulk of the development, new jobs, new services and homes are due to more market demand in Manchester, and not always a preference from government? Manchester’s commuter/leisure catchment includes a massive population. A lot of Liverpool’s radius of the influence includes open water. Until this changes, Manchester will be the leading player.

By Why

It’s big, but none of it is pretty. Its becoming a pretty ugly mass in places. @Anonymous, i’m not sure what exactly is ‘cool’. The northern quarter used to be cool, not some giant glass and clad block.

By LionelRichTea

Looking forward to the 5 year recap episode where all of the foreign investors and tennants have realised how drab, dull and rainy Manchester is for the majority of the year.

By Lakeslad

Ugly? As everyone knows Liverpool has a profoundly ugly history. It’s not somewhere that has a great history of science and technical innovation powering its economy, unlike Manchester or Bristol or Leeds, rather it was the government, in particular, their overseas military exploits, subjugating countless foreign lands and peoples from which Liverpool profited and was dependent on more than any other city in the country. That’s why Liverpool struggles and will always struggle economically and its future perhaps best lies as a dormitory.

By Romantic Dormitory

Deansgate Square is fantastic, for a long time Manchester didn’t have enough luxury homes in the city centre, now rich people want to live there, which is progress.

By Dan

“Dave the rave” A! calm down! cant believe that your accent prevents you from developing & investing in your localised areas, maybe need to look at Berlins proactive surge in development cant understand a word they say! Boomed our chippy, come on get real. “Advance Manchester”

By CBA

Pretty sure there’s a lot more to Manchester than the NQ if it’s not your cup of tea anymore…

By Anonymous

Dear Mr Mike, How about England becoming a con-federation like Switzerland, or a federation like Germany. Of course, local self-control is demanding. Better leave the London and Home County posh people to decide our lives for us. Let’s stick to the traditional English-way of life: I’m in charge of my garden, and folks richer-and-better-than-I-am,decide everything else. I know my PLACE.

By James Yates

They’ve been here a lot longer than 5 years Lakeslad so you could ask them now

By anon

Just amazing the number of bitter and sad people who ‘contribute’ to these pages.
Manchester is looking good, very good in comparison to years gone by and what I can gather there’s a lot more investment to come and for salford too.

By Phildered

Manchester May be the regional Capital, it may be getting investment on an unprecedented scale and expanding at a rate not seen since the industrial revolution but it will never have the majestic views of Birkenhead or the calm and tranquility of Bootle on a Friday night.

By L8romance

I am not from Manchester, and I dont live in Liverpool, but some of the comments on this site show the Mancs up as ill-informed and yes, even jealous. Not just of Liverpool but of other citys, and I know the comments will come that your not green with envy, you dont care, your great and bigger, and yes Dearby is really a subburb of Manchester. But its obvious the scoucers clearly can bate Mancs and they respond.

I have been to both cities, each have their graces and failings; but its clear which one has more history and spectacular buildings. Its a pity in this article and in the mind of Mancs that the older city of Salford appears to no longer exist. When the Salford Hundred existed, Manchester was simply an attached parrish. It has been a ‘subburb’ of Salford much much longer than it being lost in Manchester.
I wish this one-up-manship between Mancs and Scousers would stop, or at least be put in context. But as one who has no interest in this subject, I would say the Mancs are losing the the plot.
Lets have some relevance and constructive comments………and please the facts.

By Harry V

Romantic dormitory – well said that man or woman. Sums it up perfectly.
A tale of two cities, one representing good the other bad.
And there lies the problem, when your in denial your always looking to blame others.

By Phildered

The whole city centre from Ancoats to Deansgate square and New Bailey is being transformed with offices and apartments. The area is expanding as money continues to come in . Areas outside of this are the ones where more affordable housing will be as per the 15000 homes from the Northern gateway out. Regardless of some of the aimless wittering you inevitability’ get on here from the hard of thinking ,it’s happening!

By John

@romantic dormatory same as all that cotton traded through that same trade you’re subversly referring to? Just look at Boohoo exposed recently, in 2020, maybe on that angle you should look closer to home. Some big buildings might be going up, but when someone visits a city, goes up a tall building to look out over the city, the views, the landmarks, the look for those iconic, beautifully designed buildings, if you’re to look out over manc, other than a sea of mass what do you truly get to see, maybe the pennines, the wonderful town hall, and library. After that, everything is just well, boxes.

By ChesterWester

A penthouse is a whopping £8000 a month, that’s £2000 a week for a expensive swanky apartment on top of the block of flats in the clouds.

By Darren born bred.

Europe’s biggest council estate has won the lottery look at us New York eat your heart out and we are twinned with LA because we are identical we have beautiful people white sandy beaches just look at us we’re the capikol of nowhere

By dotty

Well it’s certainly shaken up poor old LiverpoolRomance! Lots of comments on here trying to make himself feel better. And the program is back on tonight showing even more investment that really should be going to Liverpool but isn’t for some reason. It’s all a conspiracy I tell you!

By L8romance

@L8romance lol Liverpool is doing just fine i tell you , plenty of cranes dotted over the City , don’t believe what they say down the M62 about Liverpool because its just a mirror image how they see their City and themselves .
Trying to damage Liverpool reputation will not improve Manchester , walk around Manchester the proof is in the pudding it’s not a good experience and very dangerous

By dotty

In terms of its building style I think Manchester has far too much going on all at the same time, so it lacks consistency, classical beauty, space and elegance. That is only my opinion, of course.

By Liverpool romance

Well , first time back in Manchester for over 10 yrs. Have to say my god the changes! Have to say I prefer the really grand old buildings like the Refuge and the ones further up Oxford St but even these have been redone and I love all of the Old mill conversions. There’s a real mix of the old Victorian with ultra modern. There’s a lot still to do , clearly a homeless issue like in Coventry and Brum where I live now but so improved.

By Expeterloo

This article is one of my favourites on here for a long time.

It shows how much love there is for Manchester :)

A truly exceptional city and one of the most exciting places to be in the UK.

You’re obviously going to get a lot of envy.

By Anonymous

Of the new areas, New Bailey into SpinningFields is going to look amazing. Grade A office space by the bucket load as well as apartments. That’s what a city needs to thrive in the coming years.

By Nve

Manchester people are obsessed with Liverpool it goes back years , just because Manchester has a building which has a few more floor doesnt make a city better than another thats just insane, Liverpool hasn’t stop biulding and am sure there will be a time when it biulds a taller biulding thats better than them ugly square outdated boxes , when Manchester builds something like the qualaty of the Lexington Liverpool , than thats when you can compare, the Liver Building itself and St Georges Hall are some of the finest quality biuldings on this Earth.
Liverpool is a beautiful city and is not the City that you say it is .

By Dotty

Developers don’t owe people who can’t afford flats any of their land. Deal with it.

By Phil

cities with iconic biuldibg around the world
Liverpool Liver Building
London Big Ben
Sydney Opera House
NEW York Statue Of Liberty
Paris Eiffel Tower
Manchester Canal Street

By dotty

I used to come here when I was younger and it was an interesting post-industrial city with lots of places that doubled as de-facto public or event space and now they’ve all been turned into flats. The only public space is outside the town hall (which is either fenced off for paid events or fenced off for building paid events for 70-80% of the year and all of summer), knife crime gardens or what’s now a tram line. The rest of the city can be divided into “cheap dangerous slum” and “nice but unaffordable for nearly everyone”, half of the people I work with come in from commuter towns just to be able to afford a house somewhere safe.

For all of their flaws other cities in the NW take development frameworks and public space more seriously than Manchester and it shows, it’s became claustrophobic over the last few years and all of the interesting things have been replaced with chains or that guy who owns most of the NQ. Nobody has noticed yet because the business life cycle hasn’t completed since Manchester was affordable for independent businesses but there’s nothing left for them here any more and it’ll just be a shit zone 1 soon enough ran by people who don’t understand WHY London’s hip areas are exciting and are just trying to copy-paste them badly. If other northern cities can avoid this happening more power to them.

By Dave

These cities have created a brand for themselves
Liverpool has more success of doing this on a global scale than any other city outside of London
World Heritage City also Unesco City Of Music there qhere many firsts in Liverpool, Manchester feels like it needs to prove itself and comes across a little desperate.

By Ditty

Phildered, Romantic dormitory is obviously one (of ther many) who post idiotic comments. Yes it is a tale of two cities Manchester and Salford; or have people forgotten the subject of the article?
But people,..carry on knocking Liverpool, for some reason………..its a joke. OR…the Mancs are jelous.
However, as Liverpool isnt involved in the article, lets stick to what people from Salford think of the programme.

By SalfordAnnie

When was this filmed and “researched”? I am missing the mention of EU funding for all British developers, cities and private alike, in this “documentary”. Also- hope the charity was successful; the goal was “no more homeless by 2020”.

By Charlotte Smith

This article has really brought the worst out in some people… guess they can’t handle a bit of honesty!

By Anonymous

Manchester keeps on growing baby!

By Anonymous

When all the nonsense has been talked and program has finished what stands out is the frankly astonishing levels of investment that continue to be made in and around the city. Still a fraction of what’s been spent in London but not bad for the Northern powerhouse!

By Dottyditty

In last nights episode I felt sorry for the couple from Glasgow. They were looking at a 3 floored house in a known high crime area, and an overpriced tiny apartment, totally unaware of the peace and calm of a city that`s only a hour away. Liverpool, for example boasts historic architecture, its waterfront experience with its stunning vistas, museums, art galleries, and most importantly space to breath.

I want to write to them to take them around Liverpool and take them on the ferry to show them myself. They could have been breathing sea air, but instead are going to be trapped in a tiny apartment overlooking roofs and busy roads.

By Liverpool romance

What are they doing with P Dohertys site on Dantzic st. Where are all the holiday caravans going ?

By T Joycee

I guess LR that couple could have been shown beautiful views of Birkenhead ? the wilds of Huyton and the peace and tranquility of Bootle as it regenerates at a rate not seen since the ice age. And when the zip wire comes , and come it will, they would be able to enjoy roof top views of the 8th wonder of the world ,a glorious city balancing on the permanent verge of collapse through the incompetence of successive local governments . And as they head towards the murky waters of the Mersey they’ll wonder why they hadn’t just gone where everyone was going, where everyone else was investing, just that little bit further down the East Lancs.

By Dottydidntdoit

Well that couple could have been shown around Liverpool. The magnificent views of Birkenhead, the dazzling views of Bootle and all with levels of investment not seen since the ice age. Or they could just stay where everyone is investing. And not a zip wire in site.

By Dottydidntdoit

The fact that someone has managed to troll this article so many times with so much rubbish is very embarrassing.
Manchester is progressing whether you like it or not. Liverpool will get its day (again).
Take a chill pill and get a job/hobby.

By Anonymous

Well the Baltic triangle was mentioned in the NY times the other day apparently according to lR so that’s nice for them. I think I’ll stick with Manchester though..so much more going on!

By Anonymous

London might be the capitat but again its bursting with poverty

By Anonymous