What’s new in Greater Manchester in 2022 and beyond

Two men sat outside Halle St Peter's in Ancoats

After a challenging year for tourism globally in 2020, and a slow start to 2021, Greater Manchester has bounced back with an array of new outdoor experiences, rich cultural developments, exceptional hotel, restaurant and bar openings, and world-leading events.

Moving into 2022 with optimism and plenty of energy – aided by TimeOut naming Manchester the third best city in the world in its annual index – Greater Manchester’s visitor economy is posed to welcome plenty of exciting developments over the next 12 months and beyond.

Here, Marketing Manchester curates the definitive list of new openings, events and key moments happening across the city-region’s tourism, hospitality, and leisure sectors in 2022 and beyond.

Museums, attractions, and tours

Castlefield Viaduct: derelict train line transformed into urban park
The National Trust will soon begin 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.

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 late 2022 after a £13.5 million transformation that will add a two-storey extension, a new exhibition hall, South Asia Gallery, and Chinese Culture Gallery.

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 late 2022.

Jodrell Bank: new experiences and storytelling for UNESCO attraction
The First Light Pavilion is a new £21 million addition to the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the iconic Lovell Telescope located just south of Greater Manchester. The First Light Pavilion will open in May 2022 as a new gallery dedicated to telling the story of Jodrell Bank, with an immersive projection space and auditorium, and a new education hub and café.

Wigan Pier: icon of the industrial North brought back to life
Wigan Pier – made famous by George Orwell’s 1937 book, The Road to Wigan Pier, which turns 75 in 2022 – will be given a new lease of life this year. After several years of work, the long-vacant 18th Century industrial buildings of the icon pier will be transformed into a new waterside destination that includes a gin-distillery, micro-brewery, food hall, events venue, and cultural hub.

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 to be added in BBC centenary year
Salford’s RHS Garden Bridgewater will be hope 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.

The Locationist: new tour explores region’s starring role in film and TV
With a significant increase in filming across Greater Manchester in recent years, it was only a matter of time before someone started a dedicated film and TV tour of top filming locations. The Locationist tour is set to launch in early 2022 and will feature locations from films such as Captain America and Morbius as well as TV shows including It’s A Sin, Peaky Blinders, Cold Feet and The Crown.

Skyliner: 10 years of critical thinking tours, 30 years of the Northern Quarter
The alternative Skyliner Tours, run by local writer and placemaker Hayley Flynn, turn ten years old in 2022. Hayley’s honest and thought-provoking tours tackle important issues such as gentrification and homelessness as well as the purpose and meaning of street art and sculpture in areas such as Manchester’s Northern Quarter, which will mark a significant anniversary of its own in 2022: it will be 30 years since artist Liam Curtain was formally commissioned as the area’s artist in residence, thereby kickstarting the long process of regeneration. Hayley is planning a celebration event in July 2022.

Saturday Walkabout Series: music, pubs and ghosts showcased on new weekly tours
Local guides Jonathan Schofield, Emma Fox and John Ryan have clubbed together to offer a weekly series of walks taking place around Manchester city-centre every Saturday. The Saturday Walkabout Series will commence each week with a tour at 1pm that sweeps through the popular music scene of the city from the 1960s to the present day. At 3pm a pub tour will offer an absurd yet factual roller-coaster, staggering across three hundred years of Manchester’s drinking history. Then at 5pm there will be thrills and laughs on an underground ghost tour packed with Manchester myths.

Hotels, bars, and restaurants

Soho House: hospitality group brings world-class club to Manchester
Soho House will open its first foray into the north of England in 2022, taking over the upper three floors of the former Granada Studios building located within the emerging St John’s neighbourhood, which will also be home to The Factory in 2023. The exact opening date and facilities at Soho House Manchester are yet to be confirmed; however, a rooftop bar and pool are expected as well as dining rooms, lounge areas and an iteration of the group’s Mollie’s Motel & Diner concept.

Sexy Fish: decadent restaurant to become latest addition to glitzy Spinningfields
The opening of a northern outpost of Richard Caring’s extravagant Mayfair restaurant Sexy Fish is highly anticipated and will undoubtably draw big crowds. Taking over the old Armani unit and a prime location on the Deansgate entrance to Spinningfields; the high-end Asian restaurant and late-night bar will be in good company alongside the likes of 20 Stories, The Ivy, and Tattu.

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.

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.

Pollen Bakery: Ancoats favourite expands with second location
Pollen Bakery has announced plans to open a new flagship venue located within the waterside KAMPUS development neighbourhood, opposite the world-famous Canal Street. The new location will offer an expanded brunch menu as well as more room for baking their sell out breads and pastries. It is set to open in early 2022, subject to successful Crowdfunding.

Bistro Marc: restored Stockport building to house new French restaurant
A new French restaurant is set to open early 2022 in the historic Winter’s building on Little Underbank in Stockport town centre, following a sensitive restoration including painstaking work to put the it’s ornate clock back in working order. The building, which has formerly been a jewellers and a pub, will soon house Bistro Marc, a 70-cover restaurant spread over two floors that will serve French favourites, with a focus on using fresh local produce from Stockport Indoor Markets and other local suppliers

Clayton Hotel: another addition to Portland Street hotel corridor
The new luxury four-star Clayton Hotel Manchester City Centre will become a landmark building on Portland Street when it opens in January 2022. An ideal destination for both business and leisure, it will have beautiful modern interiors with a mezzanine overlooking the bustling bar area on the ground-floor and a stunning feature staircase. The restaurant, No.55, will pride itself on working with local suppliers and offers a range of modern British cuisine. There will be 329 spacious bedrooms, and all amenities such as transport, shopping, art galleries, bars and restaurants will be just a short stroll away.

Maldron Hotel: new offering for emerging Circle Square development
The stylish four-star Maldron Hotel Manchester City Centre, will open in February 2022 with 278 high-quality, modern and comfy rooms, and an on-site coffee shop, bar and restaurant. Opening within the new Circle Square development off Oxford Road, the hotel will be perfectly located for exploring the rich culture and personality of the city.

Holiday Inn and Ibis Budget: new duo at Manchester Airport
A 280-bed Holiday Inn and a 262-bed Ibis Budget will be the first new hotel openings at Manchester Airport for several years, marking the start of a new £180 million hotel district as part of Airport City. Sitting directly opposite the Airport’s brand-new Terminal 2, the two hotels will provide a new contemporary offer for both business and leisure travellers and will open in summer 2022.

Sport, performance, and exhibitions

UEFA Women’s EURO 2022: women’s football tournament kicks off in Greater Manchester
As global interest in women’s football continues to grow, where better to start the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament than at the UK home of football? All eyes will be on Old Trafford for the opening England vs Austria match on 6 July, whilst several other fixtures will also take place across Greater Manchester at Manchester City Academy and Leigh Sports Village and DW Stadium in Wigan.

Rugby League World Cup: rescheduled competition played across region
The rescheduled 2021 Rugby League World Cup and Women’s Rugby League World Cup will now take place in October and November 2022 with Old Trafford playing a significant role by hosting a double-header final of both tournaments on 19 November, whilst the Wheelchair Final will be held at Manchester Central. As with the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament, it’s a Greater Manchester affair with additional fixtures at the University of Bolton Stadium and Leigh Sports Village.

Band on the Wall: city’s oldest music venue expands
Band on the Wall has been entertaining Manchester for generations with a history stretching far back to the 19th Century and beyond. Fast forward to March 2022 and the venue will have expanded into the Victorian Cocozza building that has been derelict to the rear of the venue for decades, taking the venue’s total gig capacity to 500 people. An enhanced archive and visual exhibition documenting the rich social and musical history of Manchester’s communities and the local area will also be added.

Mrs Doubtfire the Musical: UK premiere for Broadway hit
Coming straight to Manchester, direct from Broadway, the UK premiere of Mrs Doubtfire the Musical will open at the Opera House Manchester on 2 September 2022 and will run until 1 October. Following the story of the much-loved 90s film starring the late Robin Williams, the new musical has been created by a transatlantic team of award-winning artists.

Royal Exchange: year-long programme celebrates the joy of theatre
Packed with an inspiring mix of bold contemporary plays, new writing and cast-iron classics, The Royal Exchange Theatre’s 2022 programme is a true celebration of performance after a difficult two years for the much-loved in-the-round theatre. Highlights include Nora: A Doll’s House, a searing adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 A Doll’s House; an enchanting and brutal adaptation of the cult novel Let the Right One In; a new show written and starring Maxine Peake, Betty! A Sort of Musical; Tennessee Williams’ classic, The Glass Menagerie; and the sharply funny story about a robot-nun, Electric Rosary.

Queer Contact: a celebration of queer culture and LGBTQ+ talent
February 2022 sees Queer Contact return to Manchester’s Contact theatre for the first time in the newly transformed venue. Having recently undergone a £6.75 million transformation of its iconic building on Oxford Road, Contact has expanded to create enhanced performance and event space to support queer communities from across the region. Queer Contact began over a decade ago and has since become the beating heart of Manchester’s queer arts scene with highlights of the 2022 programme including drag kings, comedy, variety, ground-breaking performance and the annual Vogue Ball, a riotous head-to-head display of skills from Vogue houses across the North West.

Claus the Musical: world premiere of brand-new Christmas musical
From the writer of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz comes the world premiere of Claus the Musical at The Lowry theatre. Based on the beloved children’s book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, this brand-new musical will be as magical as Christmas itself. With spellbinding songs from Andy Collyer, heart-warming storytelling, enchanting sets, and a whole load of festive fun, discover the story of Claus and how he became a man forever in our hearts, and on Christmas Eve, forever in our skies.

British Art Show: best of British art comes to Manchester for the summer
Widely acknowledged as the most important recurrent exhibition of contemporary art produced in this country, the British Art Show is an ambitious exhibition of contemporary art, which takes place across the UK every five years. It will pitch up at venues across the city including Castlefield Gallery, HOME, Manchester Art Gallery, and the Whitworth from May to September 2022.

Manchester Open: award-winning exhibition reveals region’s artist talent
From January to March 2022 the walls of HOME’s gallery will be filled with work from 400+ Greater Manchester residents as part of the Manchester Open. Following on from 2020’s award-winning exhibition, almost 2,300 artwork entries were submitted for judging for its second outing and the resulting show promises to deliver an unmissable insight into the city-region’s local artistic talent.

The Musical Mind: major exhibition exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold
Prepare to get hands on, with your ears and hearts open at the Science and Industry Museum’s The Musical Mind exhibition, opening in October 2022. Exploring how music drives us to create, perform, feel, and share, the exhibition will showcase new music-making opportunities that science and technology have unlocked and what they reveal about how music affects our bodies and minds. The Musical Mind will be the headline exhibition at the biennial Manchester Science Festival before going on a national and international tour.

Beyond 2022

There’s also much more to look forward to in Greater Manchester beyond 2022.

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 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.

Confirmed also for 2023 will be: the UK’s first city-based wellbeing resort Therme; a new large-scale and game-changing music and entertainment venue; Co-op Live Arena; and Modern Surf Manchester surf lagoon, from the same company behind Surf Snowdonia. Then 2024 will finally see the Neo-Gothic glory of Manchester Town Hall – which closed in 2018 – reopen to the public following a £300 million essential upgrade.

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact:

Andy Parkinson, Senior Communications Manager, Marketing Manchester

Email: Andy.Parkinson@marketingmanchester.com | Tel: 07789988741