Greater Manchester is bouncing-back with an array of reasons to make the region top of your list for tourism in 2022. Named the ‘Third Best City in the World’ by Time Out Magazine, the city-region is optimistic with a range of new outdoor experiences, cultural developments, exceptional hotel, restaurant and bar openings, and world-leading musical, cultural, and sporting events.
Our watchlist for 2022, curated by Marketing Manchester, is your definitive guide to upcoming experiences, new openings and key moments happening across the visitor economy in Greater Manchester.
Culture and music
New Century Hall: iconic music venue reopens
A legendary music venue, which has seen the likes of Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, is scheduled to reopen this summer in the NOMA area of the city centre. With an 800 capacity, sprung dance floor, and 60’s style “disco ceiling”, the Grade II listed New Century Hall will flaunt its historic legacy with all original features fully restored alongside an all-new food and drinks space.
Manchester Museum: much-loved museum reopens with extension and added galleries
The passionately progressive Manchester Museum has a vision to be the most imaginative, inclusive, and caring museum you might ever encounter. Currently closed for construction work, it will reopen in early 2023 after a £13.5 million transformation that will add a two-storey extension, a new exhibition hall, South Asia Gallery, and Chinese Culture Gallery.
The Factory: Northern cultural powerhouse to open
The highly anticipated The Factory – the major new cultural space designed by Rem Koolhaas’s architect’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) – will open in the heart of Manchester in Spring 2023. At 13,300 square metres, The Factory will be ultra-flexible, enabling large-scale artistic work of invention and ambition that isn’t made anywhere else in the world. Programming plans will be announced from spring 2022.
Co-op Live: UK’s largest new live music venue to open
A game-changing music and entertainment venue will open in late 2023 when Co-Op Live comes to Manchester. The 23,500-capacity arena will be the largest new venue of its kind in the UK, offering an impressive 32 bars, restaurants and lounges, and expected to host 120 major live events in its first year. The new venue, which has sustainability at its heart with solar panels, air source heat pumps and will be zero-waste, will take up permanent residency in Eastlands, adjacent to Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium.
Castlefield Viaduct: derelict train line transformed into urban park
The National Trust has begun turning the long-abandoned Grade II-listed Castlefield Viaduct into an urban park reminiscent of New York’s famous High Line. After years of locals suggesting it, the National Trust has taken on the site and is planning to open around half of the 330m viaduct to the public from summer 2022 as part of a phase one trial that will inform permanent plans for the site.
Mayfield Park: the city’s first new park in over 100 years
The 6.5-acre Mayfield Park will be Manchester’s first new city centre public park for over 100 years. It is under construction on the sprawling Mayfield site adjacent to Piccadilly Station, which also currently houses the award-winning food and drink venue, Escape to Freight Island. The park is aiming to be ready for its initial opening by autumn 2022.
Northern Roots: ambitious eco project moves forward
After establishing a masterplan in 2021, Northern Roots is moving closer to its ambition to be the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park and take shape as a fully functioning visitor destination in 2022. Set on 160 acres located just outside of Oldham town centre, plans include hands-on community projects such as beekeeping, animal husbandry and growing plots, as well as a bike hub, mountain biking trails, arts, culture and events, and a natural amphitheatre and swimming pond.
RHS Garden Bridgewater: Blue Peter Garden added in BBC centenary year
Salford’s RHS Garden Bridgewater will be home to the New Blue Peter Garden in 2022; the centenary year of the BBC. It will be the second garden inspired by Blue Peter, which is the longest running children’s programme in the world. The original Blue Peter Garden was relocated from Television Centre to MediaCity in 2012 when production of the show moved to Salford. The New Blue Peter Garden will be previewed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May and will then move to RHS Garden Bridgewater in autumn.
Leonardo Hotel: ‘Jenga-inspired’ hotel to open within emerging neighbourhood
The £35 million Leonardo Hotel will sit at the heart of Piccadilly East; a new neighbourhood emerging directly behind Piccadilly Station. Due to open in spring 2022, the hotel will have an arresting ‘Jenga-inspired’ block exterior with draping greenery and planters, plus a ground floor restaurant, café bar and external terrace area which will connect to a new public square.
Forty Seven: new luxury 5-star boutique to open on Peter Street
Plans for one of Manchester’s most luxurious hotels are moving forward with Forty Seven, which will take up space at an existing Grade II-listed property in the city centre. The 32-bedroom boutique will offer luxury one and two bedroom suites, and joins the vibrant Peter Street, which is now home to a growing number of venues including award-winning Asha’s, Rudy’s Pizza, and Albert’s Schloss.
Treehouse Hotel Manchester: new northern outpost for playful hotel brand
Opening late 2022, Starwood Capital and Property Alliance Group’s 206 bedroom Treehouse Hotel Manchester will be the brand’s second location in the UK. It forms part of a wider £200 million redevelopment of the brutalist former Renaissance Hotel on Deansgate, which will also include new retail and public realm alongside the River Irwell for pop-up food and drink vendors.
Mollie’s: Soho House-inspired hotel to open at iconic former TV studios
By early 2023
From the team behind Soho House, Mollie’s Manchester will take over the historic former Granada Studios in St John’s neighbourhood – once home to TV soap Coronation Street. Opening in early 2023 with 140 rooms, the hotel will feature a 164-cover diner restaurant, a lounge bar with live music, plus an outdoor heated terrace.
Northern Quarter: celebrating 30 years as one of Manchester’s coolest neighbourhoods
In 2022, the Northern Quarter marks 30 years since it was transformed from run-down area to the thriving, creative hotspot it is today. Now home to artists, food hotspots and bars, the Northern Quarter’s popularity continues to grow. Known for independent shopping, the area is also home to Afflecks, an Aladdin’s-cave emporium featuring three floors of independent stalls, which this year is celebrating 40 years of trading.
Kampus: emerging neighbourhood becomes foodie destination
Manchester’s newest neighbourhood, Kampus, is becoming a foodie hotspot in its own right with recent openings including Nell’s New York Pizza, and limited pop-ups in its central ‘Bungalow’. Recent developments to keep a look out for include sell-out bakery Pollen, which is opening a flagship second store in May 2022, local brewing legends Cloudwater opening their new Beer House, award-winning pies with Northern Pie Co, tacos by Madre, dim sum by Yum Cha, and Beeswing, an all-day eatery and wine bar.
Stretford and Sale
Stretford and Sale, both traditionally associated as cut-through towns on Manchester’s A56, are quickly becoming some of the most sought-after places to live in Greater Manchester. Both are undergoing substantial redevelopment projects that will see them expand their thriving town centres, and are already awash with quirky craft beer bars such as both the Stretford and Sale Foodhalls, HeadStretford and Stanley Square’s Hops and Boogie, independent boutiques such as Emporium M33 and Stitched Up and a variety of cultural food and drink offerings such as Hive, Pestico and Roti Sale, all making these Trafford towns the place to be in 2022.