Monday, March 10, 2014

The Salford question - the answer is still Manchester

I've just been on BBC Radio Manchester talking to Mike Sweeney about whether Salford should call itself Manchester.

We covered a lot, summing up I'd say: The University of Salford attaching Manchester to its brand was wrong and wasn't thought through properly. The BBC, however, should make far more of the fact that Media City is in Manchester - a part of Manchester called Salford Quays - just as White City is in London, a part of London called Shepherds Bush.

Manchester's local leaders are in France this week at a show called MIPIM, promoting a global metropolitcan city - not Tameside, Salford, or Trafford  but Manchester, which is known globally. There is a global football brand known the world over - they are Manchester United, not the Trafford Red Sox.

If you were a Londoner from Islington, you'd be proud of it. But you'd be a Londoner first.

Mike asked me where I'm from and I said: "Marple - where Manchester meets the Peaks." It's a question of identity I think we need to consider. Notice I didn't say Stockport.

This is a debate that has been sparked by Evan Davis and his excellent programme Mind the Gap - London Versus the Rest and some additional points made in the pre-publicity for tonight's programme, aimed at getting a rise out of Ian Stewart. I blogged on the first episode - Mind the Gap - forget gimmicks like Manpool, the cities of the North need to be better connected.

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