Manchester City Council

Away and Art

To Central Salford, where, as recently reported, I am a newly appointed board member of the urban regeneration company. We have an away day, although not very far away - we meet in Salford Quays - to discuss housing issues. We don't just talk about it - after a detailed presentation by Salford's housing department it's on a bus to see work underway in Langworthy, Higher Broughton and Lower Broughton and key sites for improvement around Pendleton and Ordsall.

What's good for Salford is good for Manchester and being part of this board will give me new perspectives on problems and issues that both cities face. You've read it here before - it's in all our best interests to work together to ensure the regional economy grows in a way that brings benefits to all our communities.

Then I meet up with our celebrated arts originators - Alex Poots and his colleagues from the outstandingly successful Manchester International Festival. MIF deservedly has just been awarded £1 million from the Arts Council to support the next two events in 2009 and 2011 - that's great news for the city and will build on the incredible £29 million that it contributed to the local economy in 2007. MIF 2007 was a remarkable blend of fun and challenge with some events absolutely breathtaking. If Alex and Co can pull off again that same level of exhilaration for audiences who came from all over the world, then we must do everything we can to support them and encourage them. Arts and culture are good for the spirit but they are also good for our local economy!

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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