THE BEST OF 2020

Manchester Evening News - - CITY LIFE - By ZARA WHE­LAN

THE new year is set to bring lots of new ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ments, events and at­trac­tions to Manch­ester, with plenty of things to see, do and ex­pe­ri­ence over the next 12 months.

With sev­eral ma­jor projects due to be com­pleted in the next year, 2020 is tipped to be an ex­cit­ing year for de­vel­op­ment in the re­gion.

Plus, with sev­eral ma­jor events, ex­hibits and re-open­ings in the pipe­line, it’s set to be the most im­pres­sive cul­tural cal­en­dar for the past five years.

Mar­ket­ing Manch­ester, the of­fi­cial tourism board for the city, has re­vealed some of the great things in store for Greater Manch­ester in 2020.

Grab your new di­ary and make a note of some of the best new cul­tural of­fer­ings for Manch­ester over the next 12 months.

RHS Gar­den Bridge­wa­ter opens Europe’s largest gar­den­ing project The lost his­toric grounds at Worsely New Hall in Sal­ford will be brought back to life in 2020 with a stun­ning new 154-acre gar­den cre­ated by the Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety. The cre­ation of RHS Gar­den Bridge­wa­ter - the So­ci­ety’s first new gar­den in 17 years - is the largest gar­den­ing project in Europe and will in­clude an Or­chard Gar­den, Well­be­ing Gar­den, Kitchen Gar­den, Par­adise Gar­den, a Learn­ing Gar­den and com­mu­nity teach­ing al­lot­ments. This will all be set within the We­ston Walled Gar­den, one of the big­gest walled gar­dens in the coun­try. The gar­den will have a phased open­ing from sum­mer.

New gallery and Fac­tory Records ex­hibit at the Science and In­dus­try Mu­seum

Manch­ester’s Science and In­dus­try Mu­seum is hav­ing a full re­de­vel­op­ment - and will in­clude the cre­ation of a ma­jor spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions gallery. The work in­cludes re­fur­bish­ing and adapt­ing a Grade I listed rail­way sta­tion, warehouse and rail­way viaduct, with the new ex­hi­bi­tions gallery ex­pected to bring world-class science ex­hi­bi­tions to the city. The first ex­hibit, dubbed Top Se­cret, will be a large ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plor­ing over a cen­tury’s worth of com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­tel­li­gence, set to open in au­tumn. Ahead of the new ex­hibit space, July will see a ma­jor ex­hibit of the mu­seum’s sig­nif­i­cant Fac­tory Record col­lec­tion - mark­ing 40 years of the in­fa­mous la­bel. Oc­to­ber will see the re­turn of the Manch­ester Science Fes­ti­val – the UK’s largest science fes­ti­val – fol­low­ing a hia­tus in 2019. The rest of the mu­seum will re­main open with an on­go­ing pro­gramme of spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions, ex­pe­ri­ences and events. The Power Hall is also cur­rently un­der­go­ing restora­tion and is due to re­open in 2021.

Big plans for Wi­gan Pier

The leg­endary Wi­gan Pier – made fa­mous by Ge­orge Or­well’s 1937 book, The Road to Wi­gan Pier – will be given a new lease of life in 2020. The long-va­cant 18th Cen­tury in­dus­trial build­ings are set to be trans­formed into a vi­brant new vis­i­tor at­trac­tion sched­uled to open in March. Plans are in progress to re-pur­pose the site into a new wed­ding venue, gin-distillery, mi­cro-brew­ery, Her­itage Cen­tre and The Way We Were Mu­seum, which all sit on the Leeds and Liver­pool Canal. A new food hall and town houses will oc­cupy the pre­vi­ous Or­well pub­lic house.

Back to the Fu­ture The Mu­si­cal world-pre­miere

The highly-an­tic­i­pated Back to the Fu­ture The Mu­si­cal will have its world-pre­miere at the Manch­ester Opera House in Fe­bru­ary. Based on the 1985 movie and pop-cul­ture phe­nom­e­non, theatre-go­ers will be trans­ported to the stage and prom­ises to send au­di­ences on an ‘elec­tri­fy­ing’ ride through time with and all-new score along with the orig­i­nal movie hits in­clud­ing The Power of Love, Johnny B Goode, Earth An­gel and Back in Time. It joins a strong line-up of mu­si­cals old and new com­ing to Manch­ester in the first half of 2020 in­clud­ing: We Will Rock You (Jan­uary); Phantom of the Opera (March); Zorro The Mu­si­cal (March); Les

Misérables (May); Every­one’s Talk­ing About Jamie (July); and The Lion King (Oc­to­ber).

Street Feast to bring street food con­cept to Manch­ester

Af­ter sev­eral years of ru­mours, Jonathan Downey, co-founder of the iconic Lon­don street-food group Street Feast has an­nounced that their flag­ship food fes­ti­val is com­ing to Manch­ester in 2020. Manch­ester-born Downey is ru­moured to be look­ing at sev­eral sites with plans to open pos­si­bly three lo­ca­tions in the city-re­gion. Manch­ester al­ready has a suc­cess­ful track history of trans­form­ing for­mer derelict and dis­used in­dus­trial spa­ces into buzzing mar­kets and food halls – see Mackie Mayor, GRUB and Hatch – so all eyes will be watch­ing for up­dates.

Band on the Wall re­opens

Iconic North­ern Quar­ter mu­sic venue Band on the Wall is due to re­open in au­tumn fol­low­ing sig­nif­i­cant ex­pan­sion plans. In­ner City Mu­sic Lim­ited, the char­ity that owns and op­er­ates the multi-award­win­ning mu­sic venue, will re­open the Vic­to­rian Co­cozza build­ing at the rear of the venue. The open­ing will un­cover the so­cial and mu­si­cal history of the two build­ings and the lo­cal North­ern Quar­ter and An­coats neigh­bour­hoods. Plans will see the main venue ca­pac­ity in­creased from 340 to 520; new flex­i­ble stu­dio class­room and re­hearsal spa­ces; a sec­ond 80-ca­pac­ity venue for live mu­sic and film screen­ings; and dig­i­tal dis­plays with short films cel­e­brat­ing the history of the North­ern Quar­ter and its com­mu­ni­ties. There will also be a pro­gramme of events for the com­mu­nity, rooted in the mu­sic and cul­ture of Manch­ester’s mi­grant his­to­ries.

Whit­worth opens the Bri­tish Art Show 2020

Five years fol­low­ing a £15m de­vel­op­ment, the beau­ti­ful Whit­worth art gallery has so far an­nounced: a new Whit­worth Col­lec­tion show Utopias from Jan­uary; a ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion by the Amer­i­can artist Suzanne Lacy from April; and per­haps most sig­nif­i­cantly, the Whit­worth, HOME and Manch­ester Art Gallery will be

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