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What’s new in Manchester for 2022: attractions, tours and sports

Tours of TV locations, two new parks, highly anticipated sporting fixtures and more - what to look forward to in 2022

From tours of TV locations and two new parks to highly anticipated sporting fixtures, there’s plenty to get out and about and enjoy throughout 2022.

Here are some highlights.

The Locationist – new tour exploring Manchester’s role in film and TV

Matt Smith Morbius
Matt Smith films Morbius, NQ / Photo: Adam Pester

Manchester has had a starring role in many films and shows over the years – so it was only a matter of time before someone started a dedicated film and TV tour of top filming locations

The Locationist tour is set to launch in early 2022 and will feature locations from films such as Captain America and Morbius as well as TV shows including It’s A Sin, Peaky Blinders, Cold Feet and The Crown.

Gratitude Games – new sporting event to support emergency responders

The inaugural Gratitude Games, a new sporting event that aims to raise £10 million in funding to support the mental health of emergency service and NHS workers, will be held at venues across Greater Manchester, including the Etihad campus, in April/May 2022. 

Spanning 20 sports – including both traditional sports such as athletics, cycling, swimming, as well as niche sports like angling, lawn bowls and squash – it’s a chance for our emergency services and NHS to have fun, enjoy the benefits of sport and for the public to thank them for the amazing work they do.

Jodrell Bank – new experiences and education hub

Photo: Anthony Holloway

The First Light Pavilion is a new £21 million addition to the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Lovell Telescope. 

The First Light Pavilion will open in May 2022 as a new gallery dedicated to telling the story of Jodrell Bank,  located just south of Greater Manchester, with an immersive projection space and auditorium, and a new education hub and café.

Saturday Walkabout Series – music, pubs and ghosts tours

Local guides Jonathan Schofield, Emma Fox and John Ryan have clubbed together to offer a weekly series of walks around Manchester city centre every Saturday. 

Each week, the Saturday Walkabout Series will start with a tour at 1pm exploring the popular music scene of the city from the 1960s to the present. At 3pm a pub tour will span three hundred years of Manchester’s drinking history. Then at 5pm there’s an underground ghost tour packed with Manchester myths.

UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 – women’s football tournament in Greater Manchester

The UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament will start at the UK home of football. 

Fans can head to Old Trafford for the opening England vs Austria match on 6th July, and other fixtures will take place across Greater Manchester at Manchester City Academy and Leigh Sports Village and DW Stadium in Wigan.

Skyliner – celebrating 10 years of tours

Run by local writer Hayley Flynn, the alternative Skyliner Tours will turn ten years old in 2022. 

Hayley’s tours tackle issues such as gentrification and homelessness as well as street art and sculpture in areas such as the Northern Quarter, which will mark an anniversary of its own in 2022: it will be 30 years since artist Liam Curtain was formally commissioned as the area’s artist in residence, thereby kickstarting the long process of regeneration. 

Hayley is planning a celebration event in July 2022.

Castlefield Viaduct – derelict train line to become urban park

Image: National Trust

Castlefield Viaduct, which closed in 1969, is set to become an urban park in the sky thanks to a new National Trust project.

The initial plan is to open the viaduct next summer as a temporary park before plans are confirmed for how it could be used in the longer term.

Mayfield Park – the city’s first new park in over 100 years

The 6.5-acre Mayfield Park will be Manchester’s first new city centre public park for over 100 years. 

It is under construction on the sprawling Mayfield site adjacent to Piccadilly Station, which also currently houses the award-winning food and drink venue, Escape to Freight Island

The park and new commercial buildings at Mayfield will sit alongside a range of historic buildings, including the landmark former station on Fairfield Street, which are being retained and redeveloped as part of the wider regeneration plans. 

The park is aiming to be ready for its initial opening by late 2022.

Wigan Pier – a new waterside destination

Wigan Pier, made famous by George Orwell’s 1937 book, The Road to Wigan Pier, which turns 75 in 2022, will be given a new lease of life. 

After several years of work, the 18th century industrial buildings of the pier will be transformed into a new waterside destination including a gin-distillery, micro-brewery, food hall, events venue, and cultural hub.

Northern Roots – new plans for urban farm and eco-park

Northern Roots is creating the UK’s largest urban farm and eco park on 160 acres of stunning green space in the heart of Oldham, to become a unique new community resource and visitor destination.

Plans include hands-on community projects such as beekeeping, animal husbandry and growing plots, as well as a bike hub, mountain biking trails, forest schools, arts, culture and events, and a natural amphitheatre and swimming pond.

Rugby League World Cup – rescheduled competition comes to Greater Manchester

The rescheduled 2021 Rugby League World Cup and Women’s Rugby League World Cup will now take place in October and November 2022, with Old Trafford hosting a double-header final of both tournaments on 19th November, whilst the Wheelchair Final will be held at Manchester Central

There will be additional fixtures at the University of Bolton Stadium and Leigh Sports Village.

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