Manchester City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 18, 2008

UKflag200One of the largest cities in England, Manchester has in recent years experienced a period of resurgence in growth and development that many feel has been a long time coming. Having managed to shake off its somewhat unsavory reputation as a city that was left in ruins after its industrial boom years dwindled away, Manchester is now poised to take its place as one of the most important cities in the country. Manchester is a city and is located at the south central part of North West England near the Cheshire Plain to the south and the Pennines to the north and east.

Home to a very respectable popular music scene that has put the city squarely in the international cultural radar, Manchester is so much more than an industrial wasteland, and the development and expansion efforts that are currently going on throughout the entire city will only serve to make its future brighter.

This aim has become popular with the expat community as seen in a post at the Britain Expat Forum last February 9, 2008:

I’m from Manchester, now living in Australia. Both Manchester and Liverpool are great places. Just like everywhere they have there down sides.

Residential Places in Manchester

Manchester has proven to be a very attractive option for residential real estate buyers in recent years, many of who are drawn to the city’s lively urban atmosphere. The two large universities located right in the city, plus the extremely stable climate of investment and expansion, serves as additional enticements. Second only to London, Manchester is one of the largest financial and business centers in the United Kingdom, and the cost of living in the city is far below the average of the rest of the country as a result.

Much of the real estate development in the city is currently focused in the inner city districts, on the quayside in particular. Here, new residential developments and renovation efforts are currently in progress in an effort to attract new homebuyers and renters. The much-anticipated success of Manchester Dockland’s is expected to improve the city’s stature as a prime residential investment center even further.

Some of the best options for houses and apartments in the city are the Tempus Apartments, Persimmon Homes, Westshield Homes, Zenith Apartments, Marshes Fold, in Worsley, and Albert Park View.

The city is divided into six areas namely Salford and the Western Districts which is where Salford Quays is located, the University Corridor where Rusholme and Fallowfield are located, the South where Old Trafford and Didsbury are situated, North where Sportcty is, North Central  where the locales of the Millennium Quarter, Deansgate, Albert square, and St. Ann’s Square as well as the newly developed business district of Spinningfields are located and West Central which covers the area in central Manchester west of Quay St, Peter St and Oxford St.

Hospitals and Universities of Manchester

Manchester is home to a large number of health care facilities, comprised of large public and private hospitals, clinics, health centers, and various other specialist medical establishments. Among the most notable hospitals in the city are the Manchester Royal Infirmary, North Manchester General Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Royal Oldham Hospital, and the Tameside General Hospital.

There are two options for higher education in Manchester: the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. The University of Manchester is actually the product of the merger in 2004 of two smaller universities, Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST. The largest non-collegiate university in the country, the University of Manchester is also the umbrella university of the Manchester Business School. The Manchester Business School is renowned for being the first university in the United Kingdom to offer an MBA course, which it did in 1965.

Manchester Metropolitan University was itself the product of the merger of three colleges in 1970, and was formerly known as Manchester Polytechnic. The university took the Crewe and Alsager College of Higher Education under its wing in 1992 and it was granted university status that same year.

Commercial Places in Manchester

While you can certainly find plenty of high-end boutiques and elegant clothing stores in Manchester, it is also an ideal city for the cash strapped traveler who is on the lookout for a bargain or two. In addition to fashion-oriented establishments, there is also a wealth of galleries, crafts centers, small curio and antique shops, bookstores, home supply stores and furniture shops.

Starting at the top of the price scale, you can find King Street and St. Ann’s Square, which is the area where the most fashion conscious hipsters head straight to in order to pick up international designer brands and up-to-the-minute styles.

A bit down the scale are Market Street and Arndale Centre, both places absolutely filled with all manners of retail clothing outlets, department stores, electronics stores, restaurants and various other food establishments. The nightlife in Manchester is also a vibrant scene as significant investments have been made by both the private and public sector, resulting in over 500 premises able to serve over 250,000. You can probably do all of your shopping and partying here, and not feel as if you are missing out on anything!

Finally, Piccadilly and Oldham streets are equally known for fashionable boutiques as they are for music stores and bargain havens, while Deansgate Street is the undisputed center for adventure and sports shops.

All that shopping is bound to work up your appetite, and again Manchester delivers with a host of restaurants and dining spots that are as numerous and as varied as the different cultures and nationalities that have made the city their home. Of course, you can also find the internationally known chain food stores here, but there is certainly no need to make do with a hamburger (unless you really wanted to), especially with the city’s wide array of restaurants ranging from Mediterranean to Chinese, from Indian to Italian, and so much more.

Service Establishments of Manchester

The company that is primarily responsible for electricity distribution, as well as water supply and wastewater management services in Manchester is United Utilities. You can call them at the following numbers: 0845 746 2200 to report interrupted water service, 0800 195 4141 to report interrupted electricity service, 0845 602 0406 for wastewater flooding, 0845 746 2222 for arranging for a water meter payment plan, and 0845 746 2211 for arranging a water payment plan with no meter.

The business customer billing team can be reached at 0845 746 2255, and you can also visit their website at for information on their various services.

For all your telecommunications needs–from connection of new telephone lines and mobile phone service, to installation of broadband Internet service–and even digital TV–BT is the company to contact. You can check their website for more information about their full range of services at

Embassies in Manchester

Although all the embassies of foreign countries are located in London, many countries have consular offices in Manchester, and in some cases more than one. At present, the countries that have consular offices in the city are Bangladesh, Switzerland, The Peoples Republic of China, Italy, Monaco, Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Norway, and Pakistan.

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