Manchester has been rated ‘Excellent’ by UNESCO has a Creative City of Literature.

To achieve the rating is rare on a city’s first attempt. UNESCO praised Manchester’s work to support vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, its commitment to poetry, its vibrant publishing sector, the partnership approach and strength in literature development, and the vitality its approach to multilingualism brings.

The annual week-long Festival of Libraries was described as “a most impressive initiative… [attracting] great attention both locally and internationally”. The review noted the active political involvement in the designation from Manchester
City Council, and from the two universities.

The review also praised the city’s focus on benefits for residents and how Manchester was ambitious in contributing to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In conclusion UNESCO said “the report reveals that Manchester makes
literature a driving force for the city’s sustainability”

Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Being a UNESCO City of Literature is such a great achievement for the city, we are one of 42 cities in the world that have this prestigious designation and we’re proud to showcase the diverse talent of our city on the international stage.

“We have built on the strong foundations of Manchester’s rich literary history, and we alongside our partners from the city’s universities and literary community have harnessed their collective creative energies to launch and create events, libraries and spaces where words and literature can be celebrated.”

To maintain the UNESCO Creative Cities designation, every four years a detailed report is submitted for assessment. Manchester’s first report covering 2017-2021 was submitted to UNESCO last year and the peer and expert review came back rated ‘Excellent’ in all relevant categories.

Mon 20 Feb
Brad Lengden
Published on:
Mon 20 Feb 2023