In conversation with Sir Richard Leese

Mon Nov 15, 2021

This is a live audience event. The booking includes access to post-event networking where drinks will be served.

Sir Richard Leese, the Leader of Manchester City Council, is stepping down in December  after 25 years at the helm, overseeing a redevelopment of the city centre after the 1996 IRA bomb, followed by an extensive regeneration and reimagining of Manchester.

Richard has spoken about “the centrality of design to the Manchester story”, and during the period of his leadership, there has been an unprecedented wave of development that has confirmed Manchester as the driving force of the Northern Powerhouse, from the rethinking of north east Manchester with Manchester City Football Club and The Sharp Project; a culture and enterprise district stretching from Spinningfields to the Museum of Science & Industry, with the new riverside Factory cultural centre at its heart; the science and knowledge quarter along the corridor from Manchester Science Park to Circle Square and right up to the popular, redeveloped Central Library; performance centres including the Bridgewater Hall and HOME Manchester; new residential developments in Ancoats and New Islington.

There’s no sign of let-up, with work under way on the new public park in Mayfield close to the ID Manchester innovation district, and on the 390-acre Victoria North / Northern Gateway project, which aims to create 15,000 homes in seven neighbourhoods north of Victoria train station over the next two decades.

In this event at the Central Library, Design Manchester’s Kasper de Graaf will ask Richard about his vision and the outcomes, looking at Richard’s stewardship of the city through a design lens. How does the development help deliver the inclusive, sustainable and equitable city envisaged in the Our Manchester strategy? Is the process of cooperation and development across the city-region changing as a result of the devolution that Richard has done so much to bring about? What scope does he envisage in the future for artists, creative start-ups and communities to co-design the city?

In conversation with Sir Richard Leese is the third in the Scale Up Sessions series produced by Design Manchester in partnership with the Business & IP Centre at Manchester Central Library. This edition is supported by Bruntwood.