Manchester's iconic Gay Village could get heritage trail and new street art as part of action plan for future

It's an area of the city that means so much to so many.
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A new ‘action plan’ has been created to preserve the identity and enhance the future of Manchester’s Gay Village. 

For decades, the area has been an essential safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community and is the centre of Manchester’s Pride celebrations every year. 

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The city council’s new initiative has seen them consult on what the priorities and needs are for those who live in, work and visit an area that attracts tens of thousands of people every year.

Canal Street in ManchesterCanal Street in Manchester
Canal Street in Manchester

A range of proposals have already been identified including a new heritage trail and exploring opportunities for more street art and murals. Those involved also want to see a CCTV audit to ensure the area is properly covered and work done to build relationships with the police. 

Councillor Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council said: “The Gay Village is not only an incredibly vibrant, welcoming and safe space for our LGBTQ+ community but is a living monument to the progress made by those who fought against bigotry and hatred, and those who dedicated their entire lives to building a more tolerant and inclusive society. 

“I am immensely proud of the Village and as leader want to make sure that its character and history is preserved for generations to come. Through the launch of this report, we hope to harness the energy of this community alongside other stakeholders and partners in the community, shaping any future development so that it fits the needs of the people who live, work and spend time in the Village.” 

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Hatch’s Urban Solutions team were brought in by the council to do the review, building on previous work back in 2019 and 2020. 

David Watson, associate director of Hatch, said: “Our team recognizes how important the area is to the LGBTQ+ community, and to the part the neighbourhood has played in shaping Manchester’s modern identity. We have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders over the two commissions, to listen and learn, ensuring we heard from a wide range of voices and views. 

“The action plan draws on these valuable insights and outlines a clear framework of needs and opportunities within the area.”