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Unfortunately, due to a technical issue today’s Making Manchester programme will not be broadcast as scheduled.

The programme will air on ALL FM 96.9 and at 0900-1000 a.m. next Monday instead (12 September).

We hope you’ll be able to join us then. In the meantime, we’ll be publishing another of the videos associated with the programme – so watch out for our video on Manchester Smart Motorways.

Sincere apologies, but we hope you’ll find the programme worth waiting for!


The seaport 40 miles from the sea


Next week’s edition of Making Manchester broadens the focus somewhat. In fact it’s as much about Salford, Trafford, Warrington and Liverpool as it is about Manchester. That’s because it’s about the Manchester Ship Canal and the Atlantic Gateway.

In The seaport 40 miles from the sea, we look at how the inland city of Manchester became Britain’s third busiest seaport.

And if the story starts with the intense rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool, it’s also a story of those cities’ interdependency as Lancashire’s two greatest economic centres. And in looking to the future, the story ends with how those two cities are becoming increasingly interdependent. In the era of globalisation, a region’s combined “offer” to the world is much more powerful than that of its individual component cities could be.

Of course there’s the Northern Powerhouse; but Atlantic Gateway pre-empted the Northern Powerhouse, insofar as Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester are concerned – the territory that straddles the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal – because Atlantic Gateway, as we’ll hear in next week’s Making Manchester, is bringing a joined-up, collaborative approach to the development of infrastructure in this part of the world.

And it should be quite a transformation, as we’re talking about infrastructure developments totalling £14 billion, associated with 250,000 jobs.

The programme features interviews with Carmel Booth of Atlantic Gateway (pictured), Mayor of Salford Ian Stewart, Leader of Warrington Borough Council Cllr Terry O’Neill, former head of the North West Development Agency Professor Steven Broomhead, plus Dr Julian Holder of Salford University, Professor Walter Menzies of the Manchester and Pennine Waterways Partnership and Mark Basnett of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

First broadcast will be at 0900-1000 GMT on ALL FM 96.9 and The recording will be available later on Mixcloud.

Manchester’s railways past, present and future

Railways, Victoria dome from beneath

This morning’s broadcast of Making Manchester: The engineering of the first modern city is now available on Mixcloud here. It’s called Manchester on track and it looks at Manchester’s railways past, present and future.

Katie Belshaw, Curator of Engineering at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, tells us us about the first intercity railway – the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, engineered by the great George Stephenson and opened in 1830 – and how the railways transformed society. The oldest surviving intercity railway station can still be seen on MSI’s site, along with a Power Hall full of wonderful old machinery including railway engines and carriages from different centuries.

Next we visit Manchester Victoria Station to talk to Noel Connolly of Network Rail. Manchester Victoria had been voted worst Category B station in the country, but recently had a thoroughgoing – not to say moderately spectacular – redevelopment. Noel tells us about the redevelopment, and puts it in the context of a broader package of improvements to railways in and around Manchester.

Finally we meet Charlotte Bowen of HS2 Ltd to ask: What will High Speed Rail do for Manchester? Charlotte explains the rationale behind HS2, and the benefits to passengers and the economy, and looks at the possibilities for how the new 400-metre-long trains that travel at 225 mph will come into Manchester.

In a future programme we’ll take a close look at Manchester’s other rail network – the Metrolink light rail system – which now serves Greater Manchester.

The Venice of the North

The Venice of the North – the nickname Manchester acquired due to its plethora of canals – is also the title of the first programme in the Making Manchester radio series, first aired on ALL FM 96.9 and at 0900-1000 GMT on Monday 11 January 2016.

This programme tells the fascinating story of Britain’s first modern canal and the boom in canal building which it triggered.

It also discusses the current renaissance in the life of Manchester’s canals, in terms of leisure, wildlife, canalside regeneration for offices and homes, improvement of the towpaths as cycling routes – and includes interviews about how to experience life on the canals if you don’t happen to own a boat, and also how you can get involved in looking after the canals through voluntary work.

As a preview you can watch this video.

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