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Triumph as city tops the league

MANCHESTER is recognised as a top-class European city just two years after its city centre suffered a deep blow from the explosion of an IRA bomb which caused massive devastation.

From the ruins, a new centre is clearly emerging and the city's confidence is the result of the vision, courage, energy and imagination shown by its people and by those who run it.

Manchester is now within the top ten of Europe's favourite cities in which to do business according to a survey by international property consultants Healey and Baker. This makes it the only UK city outside London to take its place in the premier division of European cities alongside Paris, Madrid, Barcelona and Milan.

Manchester is the most desirable university city chosen by students in the UK and is the most popular city for visitors outside London.All these achievements are happening against the backdrop of the UK's most courageous urban rebuilding programme since the last war.

Manchester Millennium Ltd, a City Council and private business Task Force set up to oversee the 1 billion rebuilding programme, continues to work hard to achieve an improved, diverse, unique and exciting city centre for the next millennium.

The rising steel structure of the single largest Marks & Spencer store in the world signals rapid progress towards its opening next year. The Arndale centre is being revamped with extended and lively new shop fronts along Corporation street.

The Royal Exchange shopping centre is thriving and the famous theatre opens in November.

The Triangle at the Corn Exchange has tenants queuing up to move into the carefully restored historic building and progress on The Printworks building opposite is a tribute to hard work and dedication to the city.

When it comes to renting a shop, Manchester tops the league in a report by surveyors Jones Lang Wooton an indication of the surge in confidence among those investing money and bringing jobs into the city centre.

But in the city centre you can do far more than just spend money. A visit to Manchester is also about having fun and a good family day out.

This summer, in spite of the heavy rain, thousands have already visited the Jazz Festival, Digital Summer 98, the D.Percussion music extravaganza, the Streets Ahead festival which climaxes with its fabulous fireworks, Italia 98 and National Bike Week events, most of which were free of charge.

More than 23 events are taking place over the city centre this summer, finishing up on August Bank Holiday with a magnificent weekend of entertainment across the city centre for families and children.

Keep an eye on Manchester it's moving forward fast and there's a place for everyone.

Giant steps in a year of progress

Jun 1997
- Marks & Spencer follow up their commitment to Manchester with plans unveiled for their largest and newest store.

Jul 97 - The former Mirror building is bought by Richardson Developments who start its transformation into an 85 million family entertainment complex.

Jan 98 - Shopping in Manchester is fully recovered as independent analysts announce record sales figures.

>Mar 98 - Bold new designs are chosen for Exchange Square and Urbis Centre.

Apr 98 - The Corn Exchange shows off its fully restored exterior and Frogmore Investments announce exciting plans for shops and restaurants.

May 98 - The Arndale refurbishment proceeds apace with the work to Corporation Street. Shops will have new fronts opening directly onto the street.

Jun 98 - The Royal Exchange shopping centre is fully restored and 70 shops are back trading following a 2.5 million restoration. The Royal Exchange Theatre unveil their new programme and promise a November opening for the 30 million refurbished theatre.

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