According to the survey, this growth has been driven by the region’s ambitious local entrepreneurs, as well as national operators, who have invested as the pandemic eases, feeding the growing appetites of both locals and city visitors.
The data for all of the cities ranked is based on CGA & AlixPartners Market Recovery Monitor. CGA have tracked all licensed premises in GB for over 25 years.
Thom Hetherington, CEO of NRB, said the findings reflected the strength and resilience of both operators and audiences in Northern cities: “Operators in cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds have suffered just like the whole hospitality sector, with huge issues around lockdown costs, lost trading and staffing.
“So, although this initial turnaround may be small, the direction of travel is a vital and encouraging change. It offers a much-needed burst of positivity to see so many new concepts, sites and launches, and to see happy drinkers and diners flooding through the door.”
But whilst the recent increase in hospitality venues is testament to the tenacity of the sector, Hetherington insists it is no time for complacency.
“We all understand that challenges remain, which is exactly why NRB is so important. This is the first opportunity of the year for the industry to come together, to share stories and advice, to meet their suppliers and to source new ones.
“With ideas and inspiration from NRB and the right support from government – for example the retention of the VAT reduction – I think Northern hospitality can continue to drive the economy, supporting vital jobs and supply chains whilst also bringing good times to millions of people.”
Karl Chessell, Director – Hospitality Operators & Food at CGA said, “It is highly encouraging to see some of our key cities re-energised with new investment and openings after an incredibly tough period through the pandemic.
“The recovery is fragile but there are green shoots of recovery and particular in some of the big Northern cities. The role of hospitality is critical in the economic recovery and the social recovery of these vibrant cities.”
The news comes as Manchester prepares to welcome the return of the Northern Restaurant and Bar show on 15 and 1tt March, which will see over 300 operators congregate at the trade show next week alongside a host of guest speakers like Simon Rogan of Greens and L’Enclume.
In what promises to be a huge event for the industry, over 50 timetabled demos and tastings will take place for every area of hospitality, as well as announcements for the 2022 Kuits NRB Top Fifty and Manchester Bar Awards.
Free trade-only tickets for the event are available now here.
Rio Ferdinand is helping change young lives with community programmes in Oldham and Salford
Ex-Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand and his foundation’s wonderful work is helping better the lives of young people in Oldham, Salford and across Manchester as a whole.
Over the past year, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and The Guinness Partnership have been putting together a vital social initiative aimed at providing opportunities and resources to young people across Greater Manchester, helping them develop their skills and aspirations for future working life.
Now, after a hugely successful 12-month campaign, their skills and progression community programme, participants are well and truly starting to feel the impact, with 90% of those taking part now stating that they are enjoying a clear idea and focus on what they want to do for a career.
It may have be thriving in Salford and Oldham at the moment, but given the benefit the scheme has already had — not to mention the ambition the Rio Ferdinand Foundation has shown around various areas of the UK since being set up in 2012 — we can only see this spreading further across the region.
The skills-based initiative engages young people aged under 25 years old and living in Guinness homes in a six-month skills-based programme which has been up and running in the two Manc boroughs, as well as the London boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, since March 2022.
Young people from both Oldham and Salford take part in a weekly schedule of activities designed to tackle youth unemployment, including digital media training (photography, product design, filmmaking, podcasting), building and construction, CV workshops, mock interviews and more.
Not only do these shadowing opportunities garner confidence and raise aspirations among other young people in the local community, but they also help directly develop their employability skills via mentoring.
For instance, Matthew, 19 from Royton in Oldham, completed the programme and then was supported to apply to the Guinness Aspire Awards to request funding to purchase camera and lighting equipment to help him start a small local photography business. Quality stuff.
Matt says that the scheme “has been an amazing opportunity and has given [him] a chance to get back on the right path… I know what I want to do now and can’t wait to start… I would recommend that other people in my position get involved with it in the future.”
As well as markedly increasing participants health and well-being, all 100% of those involved across Salford and Oldham reported feeling more confident, with many now enjoying opportunities with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation’s partners such as Warner Music, Kiss FM, The Jockey Club and the Gym Group.
Speaking on the programme’s success, Rio himself said in a statement: “The Foundation is committed to working with young people at the heart of their communities to offer support, training, and opportunities to those that need it… engaging with the Guinness Partnership has provided a great boost to our reach and our work”.
Well in, Rio. Thankfully, he isn’t the only ex-Manchester-based footballer still trying to make a difference in the local community either:
Campbell, 38, was found dead in his home in Mossley, Tameside, on Saturday 3 July. He had been fatally assaulted and died of the injuries he sustained in the attack.
Belfield was arrested on 23 March 2023 by Suriname authorities on suspicion of drug-related offences – he’ll likely remain in the South American nation’s jurisdiction to face these charges.
Then GMP want to bring him back to Manchester to face questioning from GMP’s Major Incident Team.
Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hopkinson from GMP’s Major Incident team said: “The news of Belfield’s arrest is an important development in our investigation, we will be working with international law enforcement agencies to bring Belfield back to Manchester and continue in our pursuit to find answers for Thomas’ family.
“Through vigilance shown by our colleagues in South America, Belfield was recognised by Suriname’s law enforcement upon his arrest and information regarding his whereabouts was shared with our Force Critical Wanted Unit.
“We have previously released numerous appeals to ask for help in finding him and we thank the public for their continued support in this case.
“This is an excellent result which shows once again, that UK law enforcement does not give up on finding those abroad who are wanted for offences in the UK.”