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What does Manchester’s Gay Village mean to you? Council commissions review of historic neighbourhood

Canal Street in Manchester's Gay Village

Canal Street in Manchester's Gay Village

The City Council has commissioned a review of the Gay Village to fully understand what the area means to local people, visitors and local businesses to inform how it can be protected in the future.

For decades, the Gay Village - with a particular focus around Canal Street - has grown to be the hub of LGBTQ+ culture in Manchester and fosters a national and international reputation. 
 
As a celebrated and unique part of the city centre, the review will look to 
provide an updated understanding of the importance of the Gay Village as a safe space for the city’s LGBTQ+ community.
 
Hatch, an independent Manchester-based socio-economic consultancy, has been commissioned to consult and interact with local people, businesses and organisations in the coming months to find out what should be protected, how the local environment could be improved, and what opportunities there might be to enhance the area. 
 
The review is not a development or regeneration plan for the area, and will not lead to a rebranding exercise or a formal strategy for the future of the Gay Village. The review is a listening exercise to gain invaluable insight from the community that can assist the Council’s thinking about how it can support the future of the Gay Village. 
 
A series of engagement opportunities will be held in February. To register your interest to be contacted when the online survey is live, please email village.survey@hatch.com
 
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The historical importance of the Gay Village for the city’s LGBTQ+ community cannot be underestimated. The area is a beacon for tolerance across the UK, and its reputation internationally renowned. There is no question that the heritage of the neighbourhood - and its future - must be protected. 
 
“We promised that we would undertake this review and it’s important that we do given the significance of the Gay Village to a huge amount of people. To be able to act as guardians, we need to speak to the people at the heart of the community, and listen to their views. 
 
 “There will be lots of ways for Manchester people to get involved and I would urge as many people as possible to do so. There is so much to celebrate about the Gay Village and we need you to tell us what it means to you.”
 
Ricardo Gomez, Director at Hatch, said: “Hatch is delighted to be working with Manchester City Council and wider stakeholders on this important study. As a business based close to the Gay Village in Manchester city centre, we recognise how important the area is to the LGBTQ+ community, and the part the neighbourhood has played in shaping Manchester’s modern identity. 

“At the heart of the study will be a thorough process of gathering views about the Village and what it means to those who live there, work there, run businesses and organisations and visit it.  The wide range of voices who contribute to the study will provide really valuable insights to assist the Council and stakeholders as they think about the future of the Village.”
 

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