15/7/2016 by Katherine Memery
In recent years, massive investment and the emergence of the Northern Powerhouse have catapulted Manchester into the spotlight. Putting the city’s booming legal market to one side, there is a host of reasons why Manchester is the UK’s most exciting city and the capital of the north. Because of its exploding food and drinks scene, rich musical heritage and vibrant nightlife, at Realm, we’re glad our hometown is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
It’s big but not overwhelming or un-friendly
Manchester is London’s friendlier cousin; you’ll get the big city buzz of the capital but without the extortionate living costs. It’s the fastest growing city outside of London and with redevelopment happening everywhere you look, Manchester constantly feels like it’s on the cusp of something new and exciting.
Manchester has the highest proportion of 20-34-year-olds in the country. This is partly because the city is home to four universities and has an enormous 80,000-strong student population. Because several big hitters like the BBC and Google have set up base here, the city is quickly becoming the place to be for recent graduates, with young professionals moving here in their masses.
It’s a foodie’s paradise
You’ll never go hungry in Manchester. The city’s booming restaurant scene caters to everyone with every cuisine imaginable on offer; from Indian to Caribbean and Italian to Thai. Most importantly, in Manchester, we have real chippies, where gravy is totally acceptable on everything – none of this curry sauce malarkey!
Manchester’s eclectic nightlife means there are endless opportunities for going out. If quirky bars are your thing, head to the Northern Quarter. For clubbing, make sure you check out The Warehouse Project or for a more extravagant evening of cocktails and champagne, Spinningfields and Deansgate are the places to go. The city also boasts one of the country’s largest and most vibrant gay communities, in the form of The Gay Village and Canal Street.
Unrivalled music scene and culture
Manchester is the birthplace of some of the world’s greatest bands, including The Stone Roses, The Chemical Brothers, Take That, and, let’s not forget, Oasis. What’s more, the city is a major stop-off on the UK gig circuit. It has a host of top music venues, ranging from the huge Manchester Arena, The Apollo and The Castlefield Bowl to the more intimate Night and Day and The Deaf Institute. Whether you’re looking to see global superstars or up-and-coming acts, there’ll be a venue to suit your taste.
For the more sophisticated amongst us, Manchester’s award-winning museums and galleries, as well as the city's packed calendar of cultural events, means there’s always something going on.
Compared with London, Manchester is much more affordable, with average house prices around 4 times lower. When you take transport, parking costs and other expenses into account, the overall cost of living is also cheaper. What’s more, typical commutes are shorter and less crowded, so Mancs have a much better work-life balance than those in the big smoke and more time to enjoy their city.
It’s not all about football
With two world-class teams, Manchester is undoubtedly the football capital of the UK. However, the city has so much more to offer than this! The legacy of the Commonwealth Games has left the city with world-class facilities, including an aquatics centre, the National Squash Centre and the Manchester Velodrome, so there’s no easy way of avoiding the gym!
You can shop ‘til you drop
Manchester is a shopaholic’s paradise. In the city centre, you’ll find all your favourite high street stores in the Arndale Centre and on Market Street, or if you’re looking to splash out, New Cathedral Street and Exchange Square are home to high-end designer stores like Hugo Boss, Burberry and Louis Vuitton as well as Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. If vintage is more your thing, you’ll love the Northern Quarter’s plethora of quirky independent shops. A little further afield, but by no means out of the way, is the Trafford Centre, the 2nd largest shopping centre in the country.
It’s easy to get around
Manchester has an extensive tram network and one of Europe’s busiest bus routes, so it’s simple and cheap to get from A to B.
As the central hub of the North, Manchester is easily accessible from the rest of the country. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Leeds and Liverpool and only 2 hours from London by train. What’s more, Manchester Airport is one of the country’s busiest, and with ever expanding routes to China and the USA, you’re easily connected to the rest of the world.
It’s not far from the countryside
Despite the Manchester’s constant redevelopment and the skyscrapers going up left, right and centre, there are plenty of green spaces close by where you can escape the bustle of city life. Heaton Park, Platt Fields and Reddish Vale can all be accessed from the city centre by bus or tram.
If you fancy venturing outside of Manchester for the day, the Peak District, Pennines and the Lake District are within easy reach.
So now you know what all the buzz about Manchester is, what are you waiting for?
At Realm, work with private practices in Manchester and across the North West, recruiting for legal roles at all levels. Visit our jobs page to see our latest vacancies and to get your job hunt underway!