HEADLINE THEME: A Radical City

2018 will mark the start of two years highlighting Manchester’s radical roots and focusing on the ideas and events that changed Britain and the world; from the centenary of the first women gaining the right to vote to the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in 2019.

The People’s History Museum – the national museum of democracy – will dedicate its 2018 programme to representation, as it commemorates 100 years since all men and some women got the vote. In January the museum will carry out its annual revamp of its permanent galleries with a changeover of its world renowned banner display to reflect the themes of the centenary; March will be dedicated to Wonder Women, a festival – in its fifth year – that celebrates the legacy of Manchester’s radical women. It combines talks, performance, discussion and art, dovetailing with International Women’s Day (including the Working Class Movement Library, National Football Museum and Manchester Art Gallery. In May the museum’s headline exhibition Represent! will open and the Manchester suffragette banner will go on public display for the first time, following a hugely successful a crowd-funding campaign.

The former home of Emmeline Pankhurst, from where the Suffragette movement was to rise, is now the Pankhurst Centre. 100 years on from the Representation of the People Act, visiting the Pankhurst Centre and standing in the very room that history was made by Manchester’s radical daughters has to be one of the ultimate experiences for 2018. An exhibition called Women’s Words – curated through a partnership led by the Pankhurst Centre – will open at Manchester Central Library on 6 February sharing the stories, poems and memories of women living and working in Manchester, some of which will also feature in an artistic reimagining of the original The Suffragette magazine. An exhibition opening on 4 May sees Manchester School of Art students responding to the suffragette attacks on Manchester Art Gallery that took place in 1913. There will be events around International Women’s Day and the Pankhurst Centre hopes to have a garden at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park (18-22 July) that will reflect the suffrage movement, using the juxtaposition of flowers and parliamentary symbols to express women’s political history. Additional events throughout the year, such as the centre’s inclusion in Heritage Open Days, will also take place and all will support the its fundraising bid to protect and restore the heritage, history and architecture of Emmeline Pankhurst’s former home.

Alongside the suffragette centenary, 2018 will also see the 150th anniversary of the first general meeting of the Trade Union Congress which took place at the Mechanics Institute in Manchester in 1868 when the Manchester and Salford Trades Council recognised that many trades unions, councils and societies were existing in isolation all over the country. Subsequent meetings had implications for working people across the UK and around the world and will be marked with a programme of theatre, music, debates and exhibitions in June 2018. Coincidentally, 1868 was also the year that the Manchester Evening News was first published by Mitchell Henry as part of a parliamentary election campaign. The paper was sold to John Edward Taylor – the son of the founder and owner of the then-already-established (see below) The Manchester Guardian (now The Guardian) – becoming the evening counterpart of the morning newspaper.

On 16 August 1819 in St Peter's Fields, armed cavalry charged a peaceful crowd of around 60,000 people gathered to listen to anti-poverty and pro-democracy speakers. It is estimated that 18 were killed and over 700 seriously injured at the Peterloo Massacre and aforementioned The Manchester Guardian was founded in its aftermath (in 1821) in the context of the growing anti-Corn Laws campaign which flourished in Manchester during the period. Commemorative events have been taking place on the anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre for a number of years, but as the bicentenary approaches a significant number of activities and events are being planned for delivery throughout the year. A feature film, Peterloo, by director Mike Leigh and starring locals Christopher Eccleston and Maxine Peake is expected to be released in late 2018.

Finally, 2019 will see Manchester’s radical history go full circle with the unveiling of a new public statue of Emmeline Pankhurst on International Women's Day. For a city that has been home to some of the 20th Century's most influential women it is a surprise to many to find out that there is currently only one female public statue in the city (Queen Victoria in Piccadilly Gardens) and the new statue is a bid to address this discrepancy and celebrate a local hero of women’s rights.

See also: other 2018 anniversaries – Football: Manchester United founded 140 years ago and won their first European Cup 50 years ago in 1968; the first professional football league established at the Royal Hotel, Manchester 130 years ago; Manchester City Football Club was bought by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan ten years ago in 2008. Culture: 110th anniversary of The Whitworth; 160th anniversary of The Halle Orchestra becoming the first professional permanent orchestra; Chethams Library founded 365 years ago in 1653; 170th anniversary of Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel Mary Barton; 50 years since cotton trading at the Royal Exchange ceased; 110th anniversary of the creation of Vimto. Science and technology: Manchester Airport 80th anniversary; 60 years since the first computer with a stored program and memory, nicknamed 'baby', was developed at University of Manchester.

ACCOLADE: Manchester awarded UNESCO City of Literature Status

In November 2017 Manchester won its bid to join UNESCO’s worldwide Creative Cities network as a City of Literature. Manchester, which built the UK’s first public lending library and gave the world the work of great writers including Elizabeth Gaskell and Anthony Burgess, will join cities including Baghdad, Dublin, Barcelona, Prague, Melbourne, and Reykjavik in the global network. Manchester is home to the world-class Central Library, as well as three historic gems - The Portico, John Rylands, and Chetham's libraries; boasts two of the country’s most highly regarded writing schools – the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing and the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University; and hosts the Manchester Literature Festival, one of the most innovative and popular literary events in the UK.

See also: literary legacy - the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

STAY:  Stock Exchange Hotel

Former Manchester United football stars Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs (GG Hospitality) have been working to redevelop Manchester’s historic Manchester Stock Exchange building into a boutique hotel due to open in late spring 2018. Located at Norfolk Street, the Edwardian Baroque building - with its impressive central dome - will be converted into 40-bedrooms and two restaurants: The Man Who Fell To Earth and Are Friends Electric; both helmed by top UK chef, Michael O’Hare.

See also: GG Hospitality ventures - Hotel Football, The Rabbit in the Moon and Café Football.

STAY: Cow Hollow Hotel

A restored turn-of-the-century textile warehouse will open as the Cow Hollow Hotel in early 2018 after a number of years in the making. High-tech but with a touch of colonial Victorian majesty, the hotel will have 17 rooms and will be situated on Newton Street within Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter. All rooms will be fix-priced and will include a range of complimentary features including an evening champagne and antipasti cart.

See also: small boutique hotels - Hotel Gotham, Eclectic Hotels , Abel Heywood pub with rooms and Velvet.

STAY: Haigh Hall Hotel

Following a £6 million refurbishment, Haigh Hall Hotel is set within 250 acres of the beautiful Haigh Woodland Park and is classed as one of the region’s most historic buildings. As new boutique decadence flows through the whole hotel, guests will be treated to surprises at every corner as the transformation into the hotel and spa gathers pace, with the first 11 bedrooms already transformed with a dash of glamour and sparkle with a Hollywood decency theme. When complete the hotel will have 30 bedrooms, two grand ballrooms, Riviera Restaurant, spa and leisure facilities and a stunning new roof terrace with views of the Douglas Valley.

See also: repurposed halls – Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, Oddfellows on the Park, and Manchester Hall.

STAY: Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites

The first dual-branded (‘double decker’) hotel in the north of England, the 19-storey building just off Manchester’s bustling Oxford Road, will boast a 212-room Crowne Plaza and a 116-room Staybridge Suites when it opens in spring 2018. Crowne Plaza will feature a 120-cover upscale restaurant, seven meeting rooms catering for over 200 delegates and a gym; all spread over 11-storeys from the ground up. Staybridge Suites will be located on the upper eight floors and will offer a warm, social and home-like environment through a mix of studio and one bedroom suites.

See also: around Oxford Road - The Whitworth, Royal Northern College of Music, Contact and Manchester Museum.

STAY: Roomzzz Manchester Corn Exchange

Aparthotel operators Roomzzz will open a second Manchester property in late 2017; converting the upper floors of the refurbished Grade II listed Corn Exchange into 114 apartments. Roomzzz Manchester Corn Exchange will combine period features and bare brick walls with bold interior design and will have direct access to 14 restaurants within the building.

See also: trendy aparthotels - The Light Aparthotel, StayCity Manchester Piccadilly, and CitySuites.

EAT: The Mackie Mayor

A Manchester icon – the Mackie Mayor market building on Swan Street – has been in disrepair for decades; however brought back to life by the team behind the wildly successful Altrincham Market, it reopened in October 2017 bringing some fantastic new food and drink operators to the city. Traders include: Fin Fish Bar, run by Altrincham Market’s Tender Cow; Little Window from the people behind Honest Crust Pizza; Black Jack Brewery; Reserve Wines; Wolfhouse Kitchen; Baohouse; Atkinsons; and French rotisserie chicken specialists Nationale 7.

See also: Greater Manchester markets: Levy Market, Makers Market, Bolton Market, Ashton Market and Bury Market.

EAT: SiOP Shop by Blawd

Welsh baking masters Blawd (pronounced B-Loud, and named after the Welsh word for flour) have moved from their home underneath Common Bar, into a separate bake house and café on Tib Street called SiOP Shop that allows more room to create their famous doughnuts and cakes. The move took place in October 2018.

See also: must-try bakeries and dessert bars - Pollen Bakery, Black Milk, Bonbon Chocolate Boutique and Bisous Bisous.

EAT: Sawmill Court

Keeping Ancoats’ renaissance going as the UK’s “hippest hang-out neighbourhood” (see ICYMI below), Sawmill Court will welcome a number of tenants worth a trip the area to dine at in 2018. After a runaway success operating on the doorsteps of Altrincham Market, Sugo Pasta Kitchen will bring their hugely popular southern Italian pasta dishes to the city centre in early 2018 whilst long-term pop-up street food stalwarts and winners at the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, The Hip Hop Chip Shop, will open a standalone restaurant in summer 2018.

See also: eating in Ancoats - Rudy’s Pizza, Cha-Ology, Kettlebell Kitchen, Squid Ink, and Elnecot.

EAT: Pintura

Following on from the success of Indian and craft beer haven Bunobust, Pintura is the latest restaurant to make the jump across the Pennines from Leeds. Set to open in March 2018, the Basque-inspired restaurant will serve Pinxtos and gin in the former Freemasons Hall (now Manchester Hall).

See also: must-visit Spanish restaurants - Iberica, El Gato Negro, Lunya, Levanter, Baraxturi and Bar San Juan.

EAT: Dishoom

After over a year of speculation, Dishoom, the award-winning Indian café group which has five venues in London, has secured a spot within Manchester Hall. Inspired by Baybay’s Irani colonial café scene, the London venues often have queues out of the door from morning until night which they will be hoping to replicate in Manchester.

See also: modern Indian cuisine – Bundobust, Mughli, Asha’s, Scene and Indian Tiffin Room.

EAT: Real Junk Food Project

With a unique concept offering pay-as-you-feel meals using quality-assured food that would otherwise be thrown out, Real Junk Food Project aims to tackle the issue of waste food and is currently offering tasty dishes aimed at the working lunch crowd at a pop-up unit on Oxford Street. The team from RJFP – who have kept a fairly low-profile at events in the city for several years – will open in a permanent unit in Ancoats in 2018.

See also: ethical food and drink projects: The Moss Cider Project, Brew Wild Manchester and Real Food Wythenshaw.

EAT: 20 Stories at No.1 Spinningfields

No.1 Spinningfields is a flagship building development in the Spinningfields area of the city which will finally complete the masterplan for the area. It opened in late 2017 and will soon feature 20 Stories, a rooftop destination restaurant and botanical terrace bar operated by iconic restaurant group D&D London and helmed by former Manchester House head chef Aiden Byrne. It will open in February 2018.

See also: eating in Spinningfields - Fazenda Manchester, Australasia, Manchester House, Scene and Beastro.

EAT TREND: Vegan Manchester

It’s a little-known fact that the vegetarian movement has its roots in Greater Manchester. In the late 1700s/early 1800s a man called Rev William Cowherd (!) openly encouraged members of his small group of followers in Salford to abstain from the eating of meat, laying the philosophical foundations for the Vegetarian Society’s formation in 1847. Now, with more people going a step further to convert to veganism, it’s no surprise that A Radical City like Manchester is well ahead of the curve. Choice for vegan residents and visitors has been rapidly growing in recent years with must-visit spots now including: Allotment in Stockport which offers a clever vegan tasting menu; the UK’s first all-vegan weekly street food festival, #PlantPoweredSundays at Grub Manchester; the casual delights of V Rev Vegan Diner, Zad’s pizzeria, Teatime Collective, Lolo’s and desserts parlour Ice Shack; independent food co-ops The Eighth Day and Unicorn Grocery; plus regular vegan fairs and beer festivals at venues such as Islington Mill and Hulme Community Garden Centre.

See also: not exclusively vegan but with good menu options - Lotus Kitchen, 1847, Deaf Institute, Pasta Factory, The Thirsty Scholar, Amma’s Canteen, Greens, The Garden, Lily’s Vegetarian Indian Cuisine,  Bundobust and Earth Cafe.

DRINK: The Daisy

The lads behind Mughli Indian, Evelyn’s Café Bar and the Railway Kitchen in Alderley Edge have announced plans to open a private members’ club in the Northern Quarter in December 2017. Located beneath Evelyn’s, The Daisy will be a co-working space and coffee hang-out by day and a private cocktail lounge at night. In an unusual move, membership will be granted via Instagram (£100 per year) with each member allowed to sign in three guests.

See also: new destination bars for 2018 - Mahiki Manchester, The Ivy Manchester and The Alchemist MediaCity.

DRINK TREND: Piccadilly-Victoria Beer Mile

Given Manchester’s prominence as a craft beer hub – home to one of the UK’s largest concentration of small breweries, including Cloudwater which was ranked fifth in the world by RateBeer in 2017 – it was inevitable that locals would begin making a pilgrimage through the city taking in its best pubs and brew taps. Starting in the backstreets behind Manchester Piccadilly Station, first stop is Alphabet Brewing Company which opens to the public every Saturday, followed by Track and aforementioned Cloudwater on nearby Sheffield Street. Next, wander into Ancoats for Seven Bro7hers beer house, then detour into the Northern Quarter for Port Street Beer House and Marble Brewery’s beerhouse at 57 Thomas Street. Black Jack Beers have a shop window at the Smithfield Market Tavern on Swan Street but also do regular brewtap events at their brewery on Gould Street, with Runaway Brewery  just around the corner on Dantzic Street. A swift one in the iconic Marble Arch before the final stop, The Pilcrow Pub, completes a perfect day sampling some of Manchester’s best beers.

See also: more beer! - Beermoth Café, Indy Man Beer Con, Manchester Beer & Cider Fest and East Lancs Rail Ale Trail.

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Chapel Street

Following in the footsteps of Ancoats in 2017, one Greater Manchester neighbourhood to take note of in 2018 will be Chapel Street in Salford. Running along the fringe of the River Irwell and just a few minute walk from Manchester city centre, Chapel Street begins at Manchester Victoria Station and runs all the way down to the University of Salford. Along this corridor and branching off it are some fantastic food and drink spots including: trendy Italian Vero Moderno; gallery and tea room GK Gallery; and veggie/vegan hotspot Deli Lama Café Bar. Some excellent drinking spots such as Peggy’s Bar, The Eagle Inn and the iconic Kings Arms, art-cum-club space Islington Mill, the largely overlooked but beautiful Salford Cathedral, Salford Museum and Art Gallery on the doorstep and accommodation in the form of The Ainscow Hotel and CitySuites all adds to create a compelling package. Expect many more developments and openings along the street throughout 2018.

See also: trendy neighbourhoods - Ancoats, Northern Quarter, Monton, Didsbury, Chorlton, Altrincham and Prestwich.

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Stockport

A ten minute train ride out of the city is the town of Stockport; full of independent businesses and new developments, the town is a must visit out-of-city destination. New openings like Redrock Stockport, a 10 screen cinema complex with retail and restaurant space bring a contemporary feel to the old town. Food and drinking hotspots include: Hatters Coffee Company; no menu concept restaurant Where The Light Gets In; vegan eatery The Allotment; steampunk themed Remedy Bar & Brewhouse; and monthly market Foodie Friday featuring local indy traders. The town also has a selection of unique attractions: beer lovers’ Robinsons Brewery Tour; 1930s art deco theatre Stockport Plaza; the iconic Hat Works; and grade II listed 1460’s Staircase House. Head out of the town to experience the historic Etherow Country Park and Bramhall Hall.

DO: Bolton Museum

A new gallery at Bolton Museum, entitled Bolton's Egypt, is currently being built in the museum’s current art gallery, history centre and temporary exhibition gallery. It will feature a full size reproduction of the burial chamber of Thutmose III as its centrepiece and depict Bolton’s important links to ancient Egypt in a family-friendly and interactive exhibition. It is anticipated the museum will reopen to the public in late 2018.

See also: niche museums - Hat Works Museum, Pioneers Museum, and Greater Manchester Police Museum

DO: Manchester Music Tours return

The award-winning and internationally renowned Manchester Music Tours - created by Inspiral Carpets' drummer Craig Gill – have relaunched. Craig built up a series of music tours over the years to reflect the popularity of some of Manchester's most celebrated music exports and these tours have now returned with guest hosts from Manchester’s music scene. The relaunch will also include a new hub in the Northern Quarter from which the tours will commence. It is expected that the new hub will act as a platform, waiting room, ticket office and pit-stop for the Manchester Music Tours and will also offer fans the chance to purchase merchandise, attend exclusive events and support up-and-coming.

See also: iconic live music venues - Band on the Wall, The Castle Hotel, The Eagle Inn, The Deaf Institute and Albert Hall.

EVENT: Great Exhibition of the North

The Great Exhibition of the North will be the largest event in England in 2018 and a game-changing moment for the North. Based at NewcastleGateshead it will reveal to the world how the North of England’s great art and culture, design and innovation has shaped all our lives and is building the economy of tomorrow. The dramatic story of the North, told in imaginative and powerful ways, will instil local pride and inspire people to pursue exciting lives and careers in the North.

See also: more friends in the North - Liverpool, The Lake District, York, Chester, Leeds, The Peak District, and Lancaster.

EVENT: Bee in the City

For more than 150 years the bee emblem has symbolised the industrious, creative and energetic spirit of Manchester and its people. In summer 2018, the bee will also inspire one of the most spectacular and ambitious art projects the city has ever seen: Bee in the City. A public art trail across Manchester, it will consist of around 80 giant bee sculptures which will capture Manchester’s creative verve whilst showcasing its architectural landmarks, cultural gems, retail venues, parks and public spaces. Each bee will be designed by a different artist and will be on display for nine weeks (July-Sept) before being auctioned off to raise money for the We Love MCR (Manchester Arena Attack) Charity.

See also: Manchester’s sculptures and statues of note

EVENT: Week 53

The Lowry has announced the second edition of Week 53. The pioneering, biennial cross-arts festival will see contemporary performance, visual arts, sound and theatre combine in interactive installations, exhibitions and plays - taking place in surprising spaces across the entire venue and beyond. This year’s theme, Coming of Age, celebrates The Lowry itself turning 18. Highlights announced so far include the world premiere of Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger by Nigel Slater and Pilot Theatre, a co-commission with York Theatre Royal which will examine the tumultuous years approaching adulthood; bringing the dark underworld of Graham Greene’s classic coming-of-age thriller Brighton Rock to The Lowry’s Quays Theatre. The festival will run from 17 May to 28 May 2018.

See also: arts festivals - Manchester International Festival, Manchester Literature Festival and Queer Contact.

EVENT: Cities of Hope 2018

Launched in the Northern Quarter in 2016, the inaugural Cities of Hope street art convention was an unprecedented success; reaching millions across the globe via social media and undoubtedly changing the landscape of Manchester’s street art scene.  Taking a simple premise of securing unused walls and recruiting leading street artists to paint on them, the event also raised awareness of important social issues such as homelessness, LGBT rights and alcoholism. The event will return in 2018 with three stages and will this time include locations across Greater Manchester. It will launch in spring 2018 with a new work and sculpture by the 'Da Vinci of street art’ Axel Void; in June nine new international artists will arrive to create two new works – one which will be created to reflect stories from one of nine specific Greater Manchester neighbourhoods and one in the city centre; and then the final stage will see nine local emerging youth artists paired with an international artist to create work over a two year period. This final stage will culminate with an exhibition at the Whitworth art gallery in 2020.  The 2018 neighbourhoods and artists will be announced in February 2018.

See also: Hayley Flynn’s Northern Quarter and Ancoats Street Art Tour

EVENT: Sound City Satellite

Sound City Satellite will take the globally acclaimed Liverpool Sound City model to key fringe towns between Manchester and Liverpool as well as along the M62 corridor in the North of England in summer 2018. The Sound City team will work with key stakeholders in each location aiming to shine a spotlight on the towns, demonstrating their business, creative and cultural credentials to a national and international audience. Locations will be announced in January 2018.

See also: top Greater Manchester music festivals - Parklife, Neighbourhood, bluedot and Sounds from the Other City.

EVENT: Queer Contact

Contact theatre will close the doors of its iconic Oxford Road building at the end of December 2017 ahead of a major £6.75 million capital redevelopment. During this time, the organisation’s staff will relocate to the Millennium Powerhouse in Moss Side, with a year-long programme of performance and participation activities taking place in partner venues across Greater Manchester. The theatre’s headline LGBT arts festival, Queer Contact Festival marks its 10th anniversary year with a packed programme of theatre, music, cabaret, film, clubbing, dance, spoken word and visual art examining gender, sexuality, health, religion, politics and more. Events will be hosted at venues across Greater Manchester (27 January - 24 February) and partner venues will include: Palace Theatre Manchester, Manchester Academy, Manchester Central Library, People’s History Museum, Waterside Arts Centre, Texture and 53Two.

See also: LGBT events - Manchester Pride, Sparkle Weekend, POUTFEST and The Great British Bear Bash.

EVENT: The Royal Northern College of Music and Paris Conservatoire collaboration

Two of the world’s leading conservatoires will join forces in March 2018 for a major collaboration to mark the end of WW1. The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP) will present an exploratory project throughout the month featuring performance, a research conference, and an online exhibition that all shed new light on the musical life a century ago. Students from both conservatoires will perform side by side for three orchestral concerts in Manchester, London and Paris; each taking their inspiration from music performed during 1918.

See also: Manchester-based orchestras - The Hallé, BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata.

EXIBITION: Lest We Forget? and Wave at Imperial War Museum North

Opening in July 2018 and running until March 2019, the IWM North’s major exhibition Lest We Forget? will explore how symbols of commemoration - from the poppy to the two minute silence - have endured for a century, but also sparked controversy. Focusing on the many ways through which the First World War has been remembered, highlights of the exhibition include works of art which were intended for a ‘Hall of Remembrance’ that was never realised. Meanwhile from September to November 2018, IWM North will present Wave, by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper as part of the final year of the 2014-2018 UK-wide tour of the iconic poppy installations.

See also: military heritage – Stockport Air Raid Shelter, The Fusiliers Museum Bury and Staircase House

EXHIBITION: Four Miles from Manchester; Tony Warren’s Coronation Street at Salford Museum and Art Gallery

The early life and career of Tony Warren, creator of Coronation Street, the world’s longest-running continuing drama, will be remembered in an exhibition at Salford Museum and Art Gallery from October 2017 to July 2018. Four Miles from Manchester; Tony Warren’s Coronation Street will showcase aspects of Tony’s life, documenting him growing up in Pendlebury, Salford, where he absorbed the streets, people and sounds surrounding him, eventually leading him into a career in script writing and the journey to creating, Coronation Street, an innovation of its time.

See also: TV heritage - BBC Tours at MediaCityUK, Old Granada Studios and Cosgrove Hall archive.

EXHIBITION: The Whitworth’s 2018 programme

The Whitworth, part of the University of Manchester, has announced its 2018 exhibitions programme with sol shows from internationally acclaimed British artists John Stezaker, Alison Wilding and Isaac Julien. Textile shows will explore the gallery’s design traditions, exhibiting cloth from the Islamic World to new monumental stich works by contemporary artist Alice Kettle. Thick Time, the major touring exhibition by South African artist William Kentridge, completes the programme.

See also: art galleries - Manchester Art Gallery, Touchstones, Gallery Oldham, The Lowry and Bury Art Museum.

EXHIBITION: Robots at the Museum of Science and Industry

We think of robots as a modern invention, but we've actually been harnessing the power of robotics for more than 500 years. Get close to a unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 17th century dancing wine goblet and an animatronic baby, to Maria from 1927 film classic Metropolis and a news-reading android from Japan. Robots at the Museum of Science and Industry explores our obsession with recreating ourselves in human form, and what it truly means to be a human in a robotic world. The exhibition runs October 2017 until April 2018.

See also: Tim Peak’s Spacecraft (Soyus TMA-19M) arrives at the Museum of Science and Industry in March 2018

VENUE: Manchester Hall

Manchester Hall is a boutique venue dedicated to conferencing, weddings, events and dining. Located in the iconic grade-II listed limestone building former Freemasons’ Hall, the interior of this neo-classical gem has been untouched since the 1920’s. It is having a phased opening and will incorporate four restaurants: Fable, a £3 million pan Asian restaurant; modern British Mason’s; and aforementioned Pintura and Dishoom.

See also: unique conference venues - The Stoller Hall, The Monastery, Victoria Warehouse, HOME and IWM North.

VENUE: Etc Venues

Award-winning contemporary event space host etc.venues opened its first Manchester training, meeting and conference space in October 2017. Boasting some of the best corporate views in the city the bright new 8th-floor space on Portland Street offers businesses a fresh, modern and colourful meetings alternative.

See also: purpose-built meeting spaces - The Studio, Head Space, The Life Centre, fivefourstudios and Workplace.

FLIGHT: Thomas Cook Seattle-Manchester

Thomas Cook Airlines has launched its long haul-flight programme for summer 2018 and announced a new route to Manchester from Seattle, USA starting May 2018. The addition of Seattle reinforces Thomas Cook Airlines’ position as the largest long-haul carrier from Manchester, serving more USA routes than any other airline including Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, New York and San Francisco.

See also: other airlines serving the US - American Airlines (Chicago, Philadelphia), Delta (Atlanta), Singapore (Houston) and Virgin Atlantic (Boston, San Francisco) and United (Washington)

ICYMI IN 2017:  The Principal Manchester

Following a £25 million refurbishment to create 271 loft-style bedrooms and suites the Grade-II listed Palace Hotel rebranded as The Principal Manchester in 2017, quickly becoming one of the most talked about hotels in the North of England. The upgrade included the incorporation of the game-changing Refuge by Volta restaurant and bar and an achingly cool events calendar including the infamous Refuge Weekenders.

See also: new accommodation from 2017 - Oddfellows On the Park, easyHotel Manchester and Castlerose Boat Stay.

ICYMI IN 2017: Junk Yard Golf

Taking over the innocuous office building of Piccadilly Place, Junkyard Golf brought a new take on mini-golf to the city with two ‘mashed up’ courses featuring all manner of junk and obstacles for players to negotiate while local DJs play and some of the city’s most sought-after street food vendors serve up their fare. One year on and Junkyard Golf has moved to a new, bigger venue at First Street with three brand new courses.

See also: new things to do from 2017 - Whistle Punks Axe Throwing, Three Rivers Gin School, and The Crystal Maze.

ICYMI IN 2017: GRUB Manchester

The historic Mayfield site in Manchester city centre reopened to the public in May 2017 for the first time in more than 30 years – as a unique street-food destination and workspace with a small community garden. Anchored by GRUB Manchester, visitors have been treated to an ever-changing space and roster of the city and country’s best street-food traders along with craft beers from the North of England. From late October 2017 GRUB has moved into Mayfield and become part of the weekend offering at Fairfield Social Club, a new seven-day-a-week event space and live music venue.

See also: new restaurant from 2017 - Hispi, Where The Light Gets In, Adam Reid at the French and Grafene.

ICYMI IN 2017: Manchester Water Taxis

Manchester Water Taxis, otherwise known as WAXIs, launched in 2017 taking advantage of the regions many waterways. Due to the success of the initial route along the Bridgewater Canal - connecting Castlefield in the city centre to the suburb of Sale (via Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium) - a new route has been added to connect Spinningfields to Salford Quays/MediaCityUK via the Manchester Ship Canal. Passengers will be able to make the journey between The Alchemist MediaCityUK and the Marriot Victoria and Albert Hotel in less than 30 minutes.

See also: interesting ways to get around - East Lancs Railway, Manchester Taxi Tours and MoBike Smart Bike Share.

ICYMI IN 2017: Ancoats

Considered "the world's first industrial suburb", Ancoats hit a sharp decline in the years following the Industrial Revolution as its inhabitants – largely Italian and Irish immigrants – decamped for better living conditions. Fast-forward to the present day and the neighbourhood has smartened up whilst fully embracing its gritty industrial past. The mills and factories of yesteryear are now swish apartments and workspaces; a troupe of indie restaurants – including the insanely popular Rudy’s pizza, healthy fast food café Kettlebell Kitchen, and neighbourhood spot Squid Ink – have firmly settled in; and there’s entertainment aplenty in the form of independent playhouse Hope Mill Theatre, and Halle St Peter’s, a deconsecrated church now serving as a rehearsal space for the Halle Youth Orchestra. Additional hipster points are awarded to Ancoats for its indy coffee roasters (e.g. Ancoats Coffee), microbrew bars (e.g. Seven Bro7hers), cycle cafés (e.g. Popup Bikes), world-class street art (e.g. Cities of Hope), and evolving creative spaces (e.g. The Horsfal). While the tech kids work and play, those with an eye for history can explore the mysterious Ancoats Peeps – an artist trail featuring brass eyepieces set into walls around the area which offer a glimpse of its industrial past; uncover stories of the Victorian Scuttles on a Gangs of Manchester walking tour; or take in the simple beauty of terraced Anita Street and the art deco former Daily Express Building.

COMING IN 2019: RHS Garden Bridgewater

The RHS has unveiled plans to create a stunning new 63 hectare (156 acre) garden in the heart of the North West - by bringing back to life the lost historic grounds at Worsley New Hall in Salford. Phase one of RHS Garden Bridgewater is scheduled to open in 2019.

COMING IN 2019: St John’s

Incorporating an enormous masterplan, St John’s is the name of a new neighbourhood for enterprise, culture and living which will sit of the former site of Granada Studios. Incorporating residenti­­al, hotels, work space, intimate streets and lively courtyards; the neighbourhood will retain many original buildings such as the iconic Bonded Warehouse as well as new-builds including Factory Manchester (below).

COMING IN 2020: Factory Manchester

Work on the Factory Manchester, a major £110 million arts and cultural development and new permanent home for Manchester International Festival (MIF), have begun. Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) won the international competition to design the building and a ground-breaking ceremony took place in July 2017 during MIF17.

COMING IN 2020: London Road Fire Station

Following its purchase by developer Allied London, iconic London Road Fire Station opposite Piccadilly Station will start an ambitious transformation in 2018, creating a new destination and doorway to the city. Boutique hotel brand The Zetter Group will open within the development and significant dining and leisure announcements are expected throughout 2018.

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