is a good example of the Victorian architecture found in Manchester and is the home of Manchester City Council]]
Manchester is a city in North West England which in 2001 had a population of approximately 422,300. The city is situated in the centre of a large conurbation called Greater Manchester which has an aggregate population of 2,438,000.
The term "Manchester", is normally used in reference to the entire Greater Manchester conurbation, rather than the City of Manchester which is a metropolitan borough.
In the 14th Century Manchester became home to a community of Flemish (Dutch) weavers, who settled in the town to produce wool and linen.
Manchester was a key part of the Industrial Revolution. Its damp climate made it and the surrounding area ideal for cotton mills, such as Quarry Bank Mill. Its growth was also aided by its proximity to Liverpool's ports and the emerging rail and canal networks.
At 11:20 a.m. on Saturday 15 June1996, the IRA detonated a bomb containing 1500 kg of explosive in a van on Corporation Street, near the junction with Market Street. This was the largest IRA bomb ever detonated in Great Britain. Fortunately warnings received in the previous hour had allowed the evacuation of the area, but 206 people were recorded by the ambulance service as having been injured, mainly by falling glass and building debris. A large area of the city centre was devastated, and over 50,000 square metres of retail space and 25,000 square metres of office space subsequently had to be rebuilt. Since then the city centre has undergone extensive rejuvenation along with the more general efforts to regenerate previously degenerated areas of the wider city (such as Hulme and Salford).
In the 1990s, Manchester earned a reputation for gang-related crime, particularly after a spate of shootings involving young men, and reports of teenagers carring handguns as 'fashion accessories'. Gun-crime is still a problem in Manchester (some have cynically referred to the city as 'Gunchester') but a number of initiatives are in place by the Greater Manchester Police to help reduce the number of youths getting involved with gangs and their associated crimes. The district of Moss Side gained a particular reputation for gang violence, although substantial community and police initiatives have helped rejuvinate the area.
The BBC has its north west headquearters in New Broadcasting House on Manchester's Oxford Road, while Granada Television also have their original headquarters in the Castlefield area of the city.
The city's main newspaper is the Manchester Evening News and the town is home to local radio stations such as BBC GMR, Key 103 Century FM and Smooth FM, as well as some smaller stations.
The Guardian newspaper was founded in Manchester in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian. The head office was moved to London in 1964, but it still shares a Manchester office on Deansgate with its sister publication, the Manchester Evening News.