Manctopia: reality TV in a journalism jumper

The series trailer and episode lead-ins for the BBC documentary Manctopia are suggestive of a series seeking to analyse the inequalities associated with Manchester’s “property boom”.

Instead, this glossy reality TV entrenches a misguided message that uncontrolled investor-driven urban development is the only possible trajectory. Its winners vs losers framing negatively impacts those communities experiencing the pressures of gentrification on a daily basis.

Social housing companies extracting huge shareholder payouts from housing benefits paid to vulnerable tenants

Thirteen registered providers of social housing are using this financialised lease-based model in Greater Manchester. Five have regulatory judgements against them. Wigan is the borough with the highest amount of this type of housing which is fueling substantial dividend payments to shareholders, all derived from public money paid to house people with disabilities. Social housing […]

Northern Quarter residents and councillors speak after Thomas Street weavers cottages are saved from demolition

A controversial proposal to demolish a row of listed 18th century weaver cottages in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter was struck down in the Planning Committee meeting last week. With the survival of the buildings for now secured, how do the victorious campaigners and councillors want this local heritage to be restored and used? […]

Masks for Life scheme brings artists together to help local community

Islington Mill in Salford have launched a scheme to provide community groups with free masks and help keep local artists making and serving their communities. Covid-19 has decimated many industries and changed how we keep ourselves and others safe in public spaces. Islington Mill has launched Masks for Life, a Covid response project that aims […]

Lessons from Leigh

Ben Beach argues that in order to revive itself in places such as his hometown of Leigh, the left needs to engage with the grassroots organisations that are currently doing vital community work and re-cement itself as a force for practical, everyday change.

Levenshulme Market to re-open with ‘Shop & Go’ model

Levenshulme Market are offering a breathe of fresh air alternative to supermarket shopping with their re-opening on Saturday 27 June. Levenshulme Market, closed since the lockdown in mid-March, is to re-open, giving Levy locals and visitors an opportunity to shop in a safe and socially distanced manner with public hygiene measures in place. Offering a […]