Ancoats, Manchester

Creative Tourist

Layer upon layer of history makes Ancoats, an Area of Conservation since 1998, really special. Once home to the textile mills that established Manchester’s reputation as ‘Cottonopolis’, the district was also a centre of manufacture for machinery, glass and newspapers, with a population of over 50,000 in the mid-1800s.

The street signs are named after the notorious street gangs, or ‘scuttlers’ who once patrolled and fought here; so Bengal Street for the Bengal Tigers, Angel Meadow for the Angels. As industry moved on, however, the area declined, leaving 80% of business space vacant in the 1990s. Now, the beautiful red-bricked factory buildings are being renovated as flats, and small, independent businesses are opening again.

Ben Williams, Creative Tourist
Ben Williams, Creative Tourist

Ancoats is undergoing a period of rapid change – it may well look very different in just a few years’ time. In the meantime, it’s a fantastic area to explore; if you know what you’re looking for. Keep an eye out for Grade-listed churches, small cafés, an independent theatre and even a TV studios. Cutting Room Square is currently Ancoats’ hub, a wide open space with public art and benches that used to be where bales of cotton were cut.

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Things to do right now

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Theatre 22 September–7 October 2017, from £10

People, Places and Things at HOME

Sports 20–23 September 2017, from £10:00 - 15.00

We’re Not Really Here – A Football Opera at Contact

Theatre 14 September–14 October 2017, from £10.00

Our Town at the Royal Exchange

Exhibitions 22 September–5 November 2017, FREE

AND A 123 at Castlefield Gallery

Theatre 6–23 September 2017, from £13.00

Rita, Sue and Bob Too at Octagon Theatre

Dance 14 September–1 November 2017,

The Lowry Autumn Season 2017

Cinema 14–30 September 2017, from £5.00

Not Just Bollywood at HOME

Theatre 20 September–20 December 2017,

Contact Autumn Season 2017

Festivals 22 September 2017–31 March 2018,

HOME Autumn/Winter Season

Music 9 September 2017–31 May 2018, from £15.00

Manchester Camerata 2017/18 Season

Exhibitions 23 June 2017–1 January 2018, from £4.00

Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War at IWM North