2014 has been a year filled with ups and downs. From some of the best bar openings in the UK, the re-opening of the Central Library to night club nightmares and city centre fires, Manchester has had its share of the good, the bad and the ugly. Here’s a look at the most memorable moments of 2014.
1. Manchester Central Library reopens after £50m revamp
Hundreds of thousands of treasures were hidden away for a long four years whilst Manchester Central Library underwent a £50m revamp. On March 22 the library reopened for the literary enthusiasts of Manchester to enjoy the likes of Shakespeare’s Second Folio from 1632 and a handwritten copy of the Codex Justinianus, a 12th-century code of law originally compiled for the Roman Emperor Justinian. The Library was built in 1934 originally with only 30% open to the public. This has now been increased to 70%.
“In the old library, 70% of the building was not accessible to the public. We’ve reversed that so now 70% is open,” said Neil MacInnes, head of libraries at Manchester city council.
2. The Rise, Fall and Rise of The Warehouse Project?
Recent times have been tough for the operators of the super club or ‘death club’ as sometimes referred to in the media. A number of high profile deaths have occurred as well as a large number of individuals being hospitalized after taking illegal drugs at the venue.
It was originally intended for The Warehouse Project to move to Mayfield Depot, an abandoned railway station opposite Manchester Piccadilly which would have made the club one of the biggest in the world. This idea was kiboshed when Mayfield’s owners brought forward plans to redevelop the site. This year, The Warehouse Project has returned to its “spiritual home” on Store Street.
3. Firefighter, Stephen Jones dies tackling huge blaze on Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter
On July 13th, heroic firefighter, Stephen Jones lost his life tackling a fire at Paul’s Hair World on Oldham Street. This was the third serious fire in Manchester City Centre. Meetings were held with the Chief Fire Officer and businesses have been advised on how to prevent fires from happening to avoid further tragedies.
“This is the third serious fire in the Northern Quarter in the last couple of months and we shall be meeting with the Chief Fire Officer to advise owners and businesses in the area of fire safety. – Councillor Pat Karney
4. David Moyes is sacked as manager of Manchester United
After 10 short months at Manchester United, David Moyes was sacked and replaced by Ryan Giggs for the last 4 games of the season. Dutch football manager, Louis van Gaal currently manages the team. He was formerly manager of Ajax, Barcelona, AZ, Bayern Munich, and the Netherlands national team.
5. The Church of England votes in favour of allowing women to become bishops
The Church of England overturned centuries of tradition on Monday with a final vote allowing women to become bishops, with the first appointments possible by Christmas.
Approval of the historic change, which was first agreed to in July, was announced after a largely symbolic show of hands at the General Synod, the lawmaking body of the Church of England. The British Parliament supported the measure last month.
“Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together.” -Most Rev. Justin Welby
6. Manchester Dogs’ Home blaze kills dozens of animals
The Manchester home was established in 1893 and cares for more than 7,000 dogs every year. In September, the home went up in flames, a tragic event causing 60 deaths. A JustGiving page was set up and raised over £900,000.
7. Man City Player Yaya Toure wins African Footballer of the Year
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure was named the CAF African Footballer of the year for a third successive time. He is the only second player to win the award for three consecutive years, with Samuel Eto’o claiming the prize between 2003 and 2005.
8. Food & Drink Concepts that hit Manchester
We all know Manchester is the place to be for an epic night out… In 2014 we saw street food blow up with Chris Legh’s Beat Street Manchester, Tequila forced its way in with the openings of El Capo and Crazy Pedros. Blackdog Ballroom added some spice to Thomas Street with Cane & Grain, Thaikhun inroduced Thai street food straight from the streets of Bangkok to Spinningfields and the San Carlo Group opened Fumo late in the year. Just wait until the new year… There’s a whole lot more coming!
9. Gaga for Gaga
Lady Gaga was spotted at Affleck’s Palace in the Northern Quarter. The mega star is said to have spent hours wandering around the alternative market and refers to Manchester as one of her favourite cities.
“We get quite a few celebrities in here but I think Lady Gaga is the biggest.”
Tony Martin, Affleck’s Palace Manager
10. Uber cool UBER cars
What makes a city a ‘big city’? Apparently UBER does. The San Francisco taxi app launched in Manchester earlier this year allowing customers to click, ride & pay on their phone. The company has taken over in other big cities across the globe including New York, LA, Paris and even the big smoke down south! Will it do the same here?
11. Piccadilly Gardens gets a face lift
Some of us find it quite intimidating to walk through Piccadilly Gardens as it has been known as a hub for antisocial behavior, drug users, and drinkers. In 2014, the city centre space has been drastically improved. A beautiful children’s park was built and the wheel has returned.
“Within 10 minutes of the playground opening we were flooded with children, mums and dads and grandparents. I cannot believe that we have waited 150 years to have a children’s playground in Piccadilly Gardens. It is completely bonkers that we haven’t done it before. “Within 10 minutes of the playground opening we were flooded with children, mums and dads and grandparents. I cannot believe that we have waited 150 years to have a children’s playground in Piccadilly Gardens. It is completely bonkers that we haven’t done it before.”
Councilor Pat Karney
We wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR from I Love Manchester and we look forward to an even better 2015!