Manchester City Council

Tuning Up

Greater Manchester Combined Authority today and a short tram ride to Bury for the usual series of meetings, starting today at 10.30am and ending five meetings later around 3pm. The most interesting part of the day was in a closed session presentation from the Green Investment Bank.

The bank has a brief to seek commercial investment in green waste and energy, concentrating on non-domestic buildings, and in off-shore wind power. Clearly not a lot of potential in Manchester for the latter yet, but if global warming is allowed to continue on its current trend, the city can look forward to being a seaside resort before too long. Lots of potential of course around waste and non-domestic buildings and the intention is to form a joint venture with the GIB to develop a project pipeline in Greater Manchester not only for our own benefit but also to provide models for elsewhere in the country.

The Council's Finance Overview and Scrutiny spent a fair chunk of time looking at the recent MTV Crashes event and the intention of securing a future MTV European Music Awards ceremony for the city. The former attracted a fair chunk of publicity, mostly positive, over the last couple of months but I thought I would wait until Scrutiny had taken place before blogging about it. The basic question is, given the city's current budget position, should we be spending money on events such as this. The report that went to Scrutiny answers that question in glorious detail but it is essentially an unequivocal yes. In the current climate attracting investment that leads to job creation is absolutely vital, and we are competing globally for that investment. Events like MTV Crashes, even more so MTV EMA if we do secure that, bring benefit in a number of ways. There is direct spend in event production and increased visitors, and there is enormous benefit of promotion particularly in MTV's case to a global TV audience, and an audience largely under 35. MTV Crashes, which centred around the recording of a live concert in Manchester Cathedral, will challenge stereotypical views of the city - how many people around the world think medieval cathedral when they think of Manchester that is if they think anything of Manchester at all - and the setting also helps promote Manchester as a city of creativity and innovation.

We have to deal with a very difficult present, but not at the expense of the future.

There are 7 responses to “Tuning Up”

  1. A Leece Ya Keys Says:

    "The former attracted a fair chunk of publicity, mostly positive," - Ha ha - you are joking arent you?You clearly do not read newspapers or website comment sections. But then again its not like Sir Richard to only hear what he wants to hear and selectively ignore the rest is it now?

  2. very concerned Says:

    absolutely unbelieveable. The Council should nto be spending money on this, cannot believe you think it should. Vital services are being scaled back (soemwhat unfortunmately necessary due to budget cuts) so the City cannot afford to run concerts that are probably mainly attended by people from other areas like Cheshire etc. Of course major events showcase Manchester and increase awareness, but an expenditure neutral way forward has to be found. I am afraid this must be a case of selective hearing, have to agree with other responder! I heard a lot of criticism of the wasteag of money on the concert which only beneffited WAGS and Alicia Keys not normal tax payers in Mcr. This is like your statues at OFS that soon will have to be taken down anyways. Get Real please and stop wsting money!

  3. behonest Says:

    be honest and tell us how much the concert cost (how much wasted revenues went on it)?

  4. Camille Says:

    I have to agree with most of the comments here. I find it hard to believe that private sector sponsorship could not be found for the Alicia Keys event.

    An internationally renowned artist performing for a global MTV, and no interest from any of the media's big hitters?

    If money be privately raised for something as minor and local as the New Year fireworks at the town hall then I'm sure it could (and should) have been done.

    This is ammunition to the government and the rightwing press when they want to show examples of squandered money in the public sector.

  5. Surelythiscannnotgoahead Says:

    'MTV Crashes' are not well advertised, I would argue against your understanding of he actual benefit you talk about. Please can you think hard about this, we do not have the money to support this and it is not worthwhile, please get more in touch with the current state of the Council before spending more money through Marketing Manchester!

  6. Richard Leese Says:

    Some interesting comments but none of the commentators appear to have taken the trouble to read the report that went to scrutiny. If they had I think their comments might be very different. The MEN did and here are just a couple of quotes from their editorial comment " in these difficult times, it is more important than ever that every penny of taxpayers' money is wisely and carefully spent. But that doesn't mean we should simply not bother promoting Manchester in the eyes of the rest of the world. The fact is, hosting one of the biggest A-list pop parties on the planet for less than £400,000 seems something of a bargain." " Those of us who live in Manchester already know it is one of the world's great cities. But if we don't keep spreading the word to other people, they are less likely to invest here, to visit here, to live here. " "..knee jerk opposition to bidding for world-class events like the MTV Europe Music Awards would help no one at all. " People are right to be concerned about the impact of cuts but if at the same time we allow the city to return to the sort of economic decline we experienced in the early nineteen eighties then the impact and scale of those cuts will be much, much worse.

  7. Max Says:

    I have just read the scrutiny report. The contact officers for the report are the Chief Executive, The Assistant Chief Executive Communications, Customer and ICT and the Head of Events.

    Are we surprised that the report was so positive ?

    Sir Richard, please stop taking us for fools.



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

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