PODCAST | Bernstein’s legacy in his own words

Join Place as we go back through the archives to March 2017 and hear from Sir Howard Bernstein about his career as chief executive at the city council – the highs, the lows, and how he wanted to be remembered.

Listen to the podcast

Bernstein was the maker of modern Manchester, the city council’s chief executive from 1998 to 2017. He died over the weekend at the age of 71.

In this podcast episode, Place North publisher Paul Unger revisits the final interview he conducted with Bernstein during his last week in office at the town hall.

“He was generous enough to allow me into his office to sit and talk at the meeting table where so many deals were ironed out and development frameworks conceived that would reshape Manchester and set it on the ‘growth path’ that has reaped so much success for residents and businesses,” Unger reflected.

“He opened up on the highs of devolution and the forthcoming first Greater Manchester Mayoral election, ultimately won by Andy Burnham, as well as the lows of losing contests to house BBC North and the Supercasino.

“As I listened back, I enjoyed hearing him tapping the table as he made a forceful point about government keeping its promises and the background rattle of a catering trolley in the bustling corridors of power.”

The interview is a snapshot in time, and the audio recording has never before been published.

The podcast only includes highlights from the Unger and Bernstein conversation, with much more being detailed in the extensive interview that was published on Place North West on 31 March 2017.

In that piece, you’ll find Bernstein responding to questions about perceived favouritism towards SimpsonHaugh and Deloitte, his hopes about delivering The Factory (then a £110m project, now known as Aviva Studios with a price tag of £240m), and more about his grand project, regional devolution. Read the full interview.

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