East Manchester has been prioritized by the City Council and its partner agencies as the most deprived area of the city. It is also identified as one of the country's poorest and most disadvantaged areas. It encompasses a large segment of the city (1,100 hectares), from the city centre to its eastern boundary, hosting the population of 31,503 and experiencing severe interrelated multiple deprivation.
Once a centre for traditional manufacturing with a large number of factories, steel works, a coal mine and power station, the area suffered particularly badly from the economic recessions of 1970 – 1980, when much of the industry has disappeared, leaving large areas of dysfunctional, ex-industrial open space, suffering from complex social, economical and structural distress, characterized by high levels of unemployment and a range of other problems. It has also left the challenges of many derelict and under-used buildings, and large areas of vacant and degraded land.
A historical industrial legacy of warehouses, mills and canals is in need of investment and upgrading.
At the same time, East Manchester contains a wealth of built and open space resources which have been largely under-utilized, which contribute to the creation of a distinct sense of place, within the overall plan. There is an opportunity to transform the River Medlock’s valley into a green, attractive environment attracting high quality development.