There is so much building and refurbishment going on in the city at the moment that it makes you dizzy. Even with the question marks over the country’s economic future, Manchester seems to be able to do no wrong. It seems to have joined that elite group of cities that, no matter what happens elsewhere economically, it is able to weather the storm. I read somewhere that there is more, new economic activity in Manchester than the next six cities down the list combined. Only London is doing better.

And we are also getting dizzy with the new names that are being given to the rebuilt areas. The ancient area of Greengate (actually a street, not a gate in sight, ‘gate’ is the ancient Danish word for street) in Salford has been renamed Embankment, virtue of the fact that it’s on the embankment of the River Irwell. No doubt some trendy PR company was paid handsomely for that. 

A long time ago it was the centre of the town of Salford. That was replaced with Victorian workshops which gave way to Exchange Station. That was torn down in the 1960s and, until about three years ago, it was surface carparks. Not a pretty or inspiring view from Manchester Cathedral or, indeed, the plate glass windows of Harvey Nichols.

In a remarkable short period of time it has been transformed with new squares and streets lined with glass office blocks and apartment towers. If you look carefully in these pictures you can see the latest one making its presence felt on the skyline. It’s another of Manchester’s new 100m+ towers called Exchange Court. Well technically it’s not in Manchester, it will be the tallest building in Salford but few distinguish between the two cities these days. They have started putting on the cladding which is gold tinted glass. Nothing there that can combust. Salford is having problems with its older towers. 29 of them have been discovered to have been reclad with the same, or similar, cladding to Grenfell Tower is London. It’s all having to come off and be replaced. I wouldn’t be comfortable living in one of those blocks. But would be able to cope with an apartment in a gold tinted tower two minutes walk from Harvey Nicks.

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