THE BEST OF 2020
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