5 years ago, Manchester was recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature due to the dedication to pursuing excellence in literature locally, nationally, and globally.
Half a decade on from being recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature, Manchester proudly sits besides Dublin, Barcelona, Prague, Melbourne, and Reykjavik as being internationally recognised for its dedication to excellent literature on a national and global scale.
This prestigious award has provided countless opportunities. But how has it affected the city?
Over the last couple of years, the Manchester City of Literature Charity used this growth to secure an additional £200,000 investment. This fund was used to provide learning opportunities to over 100 writers and artists such as Anjum Malik, Ella Otomewo and Michelle Collier.
The funding also provided a chance to support projects such as the Festival of Libraries, International Mother Language celebrations, Made in Manchester and has immeasurably helped to create the Manchester Poetry.
But most importantly, outside of planned investment in literature, it put Manchester on the map for major publishers and has seen commercial publishers move into the city, expanding the literature culture once more.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council commented on the exciting anniversary: “Celebrating five years as a UNESCO City of Literature is such a great achievement for the city, we are one of 42 cities in the world that have this prestigious designation and we’re proud to showcase the diverse talent of our city on the international stage… Over the past five years we have built on the strong foundations of Manchester’s rich literary history, and we alongside our partners from the city’s universities and literary community have harnessed their collective creative energies to launch and create events, libraries and spaces where words and literature can be celebrated.”
The award has also significantly benefitted the local universities- which just so happen to be some of the countries most well-regarded. National and international students alike are choosing The University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing and The Manchester Writing School as the next steps in their careers.
This helps boost the local economy, encouraging regeneration projects around the city to provide better lifestyles and employment opportunities for these graduates and boosts investment in local property in the area.