Our Manchester Progress Update
Report of the Chief Executive attached
The Executive considered a report of the Chief Executive which provided an update on key areas of progress against the Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 which reset Manchester’s priorities for the next five years to ensure the Council could still achieve the city’s ambition set out in the Our Manchester Strategy 2016 – 2025.
The Leader reported that Manchester had been named by National Geographic magazine as one its top 25 must-visit global destinations for 2023. The city was the only UK city to be recognised in the publication’s influential ‘Best of the World’ list, joining destinations including New Zealand and San Francisco. The accolade recognised the strength of Manchester’s post-pandemic revival and the raft of significant cultural openings in 2023 including Factory International and Manchester Museum after a £15m transformation including new galleries. Manchester was also featured in the ‘family’ category of the list, recognising destinations offering educational journeys for all generations.
The Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure reported on the opening of Gorton’s new community, integrated health and learning hub, which opened on Tuesday 15 November. The hub would bring together a range of local services under the same roof for the first time, creating a one-stop-shop for local people to access a GP, health and social care services, employment support, cafe and a new Gorton library, all in a purpose built, highly accessible development. Each of the services would open to the public in a phased way through to January 2023. The Hub building would be open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 5pm on Saturdays, although different services would have different opening times. The Deputy Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure also reported on the new library space that had been created commenting that it was a testimony to what a library provision could be.
The Deputy Leader reported that from 1 November right through until spring 2023, the Council and fellow members of the Manchester Homelessness Partnership were providing extra support to help people sleeping on the streets move into accommodation through the coldest months. The increased accommodation provision, over and above that which was available all year round, would be available for as long as people needed it. The bed spaces were offered on a referral system to people who had been identified by partners and outreach teams as high priority. The extra accommodation was being funded by the Council, alongside funding from Government.
The Deputy Leader (Statutory) reported that Manchester-based arts organisations would now benefit from almost £25m a year of Arts Council England national portfolio funding over the next three years. New additions to the national portfolio included the National Football Museum, Brighter Sounds, Manchester Collective, Music Action International, Northern Lines, Reform Radio, Sheba Arts and Triple C. Other organisations including arts and creative hub for children and young people Z-Arts, who would now receive £401k a year, had received an uplift in existing funding to expand their work. The funding would run from 2023 to 2026 for cultural organisations that contributed to making Manchester a thriving, equitable, vibrant and liveable city with high quality cultural and creative experiences that all Manchester people could benefit from.
The Executive Member for Health Manchester and Adult Social Care reported that on 31 October 2022 the five-year Making Manchester Fairer Action Plan was launched at a conference held at the Etihad Stadium. In recognition that the continual engagement of the workforce and services across the social determinants of health was critical to developing the detail and successful delivery of the plan, invitations were targeted at frontline workers, managers and leaders in organisations and services that made up the population health system including the VCSE sector, health and housing as well as key city council teams and directorates. More than 200 delegates attended the full day event which was opened by the Council’s Chief Executive and Leader, reflecting the priority of tackling inequalities for the city. Feedback from the event had been overwhelmingly positive and work had already begun to sustain this engagement, starting with the first of a number of regular planned bulletins to attendees which formed the starting point for Making Manchester Fairer’s emerging workforce engagement strategy.
The Executive Member for Housing and Development reported on the development of 130 affordable homes in Belle Vue which had reached a milestone last week with the opening of show homes. The homes were being delivered by developer Countryside and housing association partner Great Places and consisted of a mix of houses and apartment with 89 homes for social rent, 12 homes available for rent at the Manchester Living Rent and 29 for shared ownership. The development would also have 117 properties for sale on the open market. All homes were being built to greener by design standards including electric charging points for every house and the development was bringing a brownfield site back into use. The Executive Member also reported on a new social benefit hub which had opened at Red Bank (part of the Victoria North regeneration programme) to help people gain employment, training and digital access. The Victoria North Community Hub had been set up by BAM Nuttall and Arup – the contractor working on the Red Bank phase of the regeneration project – as part of their social value commitment for the development. The Council had developed a programme of support to help residents in north Manchester, alongside a range of support services run by city-based voluntary organisations. BAM Nutall and Arup were also providing the hub with access to laptops and free wi-fi to allow residents to search for jobs, get support with applications and find training opportunities, as well as to access housing and income advice. The hub, which would be available until spring 2024 at the BAM Nutall site compound in Hargreaves Street, would be open to residents during pre-planned sessions with community organisations rather than on a drop-in basis.
The Executive note the report.