Manchester Open

Newly opened

EXHIBITION: Open Exhibition at HOME

Running until March 2020, HOME’s Manchester Open Exhibition (pictured above) – a major open-entry art show celebrating the creative talent of people from across Greater Manchester – is now open. HOME’s gallery has been filled with work from 500+ Greater Manchester residents, selected by a panel consisting of art experts and community representatives. The exhibition is open to all, and has brought together artwork including paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, digital and mixed media, video and audio, spoken word, performance and more.

- See also: art galleries - The WhitworthCastlefield GalleryWaterside; The Lowry

EXHIBITION: Dippy the Dinosaur

The Natural History Museum’s superstar dinosaur, Dippy, is currently on a record-breaking UK tour and he arrives in Rochdale this month. Dippy’s star power has already drawn more than 1 million visitors to venues across the tour, and thousands more are expected to visit him in Number One Riverside, his only stop in the North West of England. Accompanying the dinosaur in Rochdale will be a major family-friendly exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale where children can explore all aspects of the natural world, from the dark swamplands of millions of years ago to our future planet and what it might look like. Dippy will be in Rochdale from 10 February to 28 June 2020.

- See also: inspiring attractions - Science and Industry MuseumJodrell Bank Observatory

EXHIBITION: The People’s City Exhibition

Award-winning restaurant The Refuge and the British Culture Archive presents The People’s City Exhibition to kickstart The Refuge’s 2020 cultural programme, open to the public until spring. Founded in 2017, the British Culture Archive is a registered non-profit set up to document, highlight and preserve the changes in British society and culture through social and documentary photography. The exhibition will include a selection of images from featured photographers that capture the very essence of what made Britain one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries from the 1960’s onwards. 

- See also: art exhibitions -  Cezzane at the Whitworth; The Art of the Brick

DRINK: Project Halcyon

Located in the Grade II listed Bonded Warehouse at the heart of city-centre neighbourhood development, St. John’s, Project Halcyon is a new bar and distillery from the team behind Zymurgorium Gin. This is the first bar to open in St. John’s neighbourhood and as well as housing an on-site distillery, the bar will offer a seasonal cocktail menu, craft spirits and liqueurs produced on site, and masterclass sessions distilling spirits as well as spirit tastings and cocktail masterclasses, all set to the backdrop of a turn of the century blues bar.

- See also: low-key cocktail bars - Wood and CoThe Jane EyreSpeak in Code

FOOD HALL: Groceries & Beer

From the team behind Ancoats General Store and Stretford Food Hall, Groceries & Beer is a new food hall in the suburb of Sale. Groceries will be available alongside pop-up street food vendors, coffee and craft beer at Sale’s Square Shopping Centre, just 30 minutes from Manchester.

- See also: food halls - Mackie MayorGRUBHatchAltrincham Market; The Produce Hall

FOOD HALL: The Mad Giant

A new food hall will also open in the suburb of Didsbury this month. The Mad Giant comes from the team behind Stockport’s Produce Hall. The Mad Giant offers a range of local, independent food offerings as well as coffee from Black Market Espresso and a bar serving local beers, wine and cocktails.

- See also: Disdsbury restaurants - HispiGreensAnother Heart to Feed

Coming soon

STAY: Hotel Brooklyn

Opening on 14 February on Portland Street, Bespoke Hotel’s Hotel Brooklyn will offer 189 innovative and stylish bedrooms, events space for up to 220 people, as well as a panoramic rooftop bar, known as Brooklyn Heights, and restaurant, named Runyon’s. A homage to the New York City borough of Brooklyn between 1870-1910, around the time when the Brooklyn bridge was built in 1883, Hotel Brooklyn promises to stand as a hive of theatricality and energy alongside its sister property Hotel Gotham, which opened on King Street in 2016.

- See also: newly opened hotels - Stock Exchange HotelDakotaNative; Whitworth Locke

ATTRACTION: RHS Garden Bridgewater opening date announced

The RHS is creating a stunning new 154-acre garden in the heart of the North West by bringing back to life the lost historic grounds at Worsley New Hall in Salford. The creation of RHS Garden Bridgewater - the Society's first new garden in 17 years - is the largest gardening project in Europe and will include an Orchard Garden, Wellbeing Garden, Kitchen Garden, Paradise Garden, a Learning Garden and community teaching allotments, all set within the Weston Walled Garden, one of the biggest walled gardens in the country. RHS Garden Bridgewater will have a phased opening from 30 July 2020.


Wigan Pier – made famous by George Orwell’s 1937 novel and essay, The Road to Wigan Pier – will be given a new lease of life when the long-vacant 18th Century industrial buildings are transformed into a vibrant new visitor attraction set to open this Spring. A new wedding venue, gin distillery, micro-brewery, food hall and town houses will occupy the previous Orwell public house, Heritage Centre and The Way We Were Museum which all sit on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

- See also: waterside neighbourhoods – Castlefield; Salford Quays; Worsley

EXHIBITION: Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records

Use Hearing Protection will tell the story of Factory Records’ formative years and how the record label’s innovative work in music, technology and design gave Manchester an authentic voice and distinctive identity at the heart of Britain’s music and creative industries in the late 70s and early 80s. Running from July 2020 until January 2021, this exhibition will include creations from Joy Division, New Order and The Durutti Column, graphic designs by Peter Saville and previously unseen items from the Factory archives. Tickets are on sale now for what is certain to be this summer's most popular exhibition..