Arts and Culture

Manchester receives ‘Excellent’ rating from UNESCO – here’s why

UNESCO awarded Manchester a top rating as a ‘City of Literature’ for its ‘vibrant’ and ‘multilingual’ literary scene.

The city received an ‘excellent’ in most categories for its first ever UNESCO assessment report submitted for 2017-2021.

UNESCO says it is rare for a city to receive such a high rating for its first report.

It praised the city for its support of vulnerable residents during the pandemic, a commitment to poetry, and an active and multilingual publishing sector.

The city was also commended for its focus on local residents and their futures. “Manchester makes literature a driving force for the city’s sustainability”, said UNESCO.

Highlights recognised by the culture organisation included the annual Festival of Libraries and the Manchester Literary Festival.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman said, “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.

“This is a fantastic achievement for the city and shows that we are investing in local talent and the cultural future of Manchester.”

Manchester first became a UNESCO City of Literature after Manchester City Council, the Universities, Manchester Literature Festival and the city’s writing and publishing community made a bid for the title in 2017.

Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Met said, “The designation has raised the profile of our City as a beacon destination for creative industries, cultural tourism and students of the arts and humanities.”

Cover photo by Chris Curry, courtesy of Manchester City of Literature

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