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City of Culture

Manchester Man of the mid-19th century wanted to show the world that the place was more than just a forest of smokestack industries and belching chimneys by creating a city of culture; a metropolis where the arts and the glories of civilisation could flourish alongside commerce and manufacturing.

Success followed. Manchester became known for its many theatres, concert halls, collections of paintings, fine architecture and love of creativity and ingenuity. The staging of the Great Art Treasures’ Exhibition in Old Trafford in 1857; Henry Irving at the Theatre Royal, Annie Horniman at the Gaiety Theatre; the Royal Manchester Institution gentlemen’s club transformed into Manchester Art Gallery; the revered speakers and members of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society; and most of all the progression of the local orchestra into one of the world’s finest – the Hallé.