ABOUT MANCHESTER CHINATOWN
A MAINSTAY OF THE CITY’S SOCIO-CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY
Our Chinatown is uniquely ‘Northern’, flying the flag for Manchester, and for independence.
We remain an area with a strong sense of community and camaraderie but also offering a rich and varied day out.
Manchester’s Chinatown is the second largest in the UK, so you’re guaranteed a wide choice of quality restaurants, bakeries, shops and businesses like Caffeinated Projects (thanks for the new website!). The annual Chinese New Year festival, in February, is a highlight in the Manchester events calendar, it includes stalls and dancing Dragons in the famous parade.
Manchester did not have a significant Chinese population, reaching only about 2,000.However, after World War II, there were severe labour shortages, and in response, the government passed the British Nationality Act 1948, which allowed easier access into the country.
Additionally, Hong Kong’s rapid urbanisation meant that many farmers and traditional residents’ homes were being destroyed by the urban sprawl, so many decided to migrate.
One of Chinatown’s most noticeable landmarks is the beautiful Chinese archway, situated on Faulkner Street. The paifang, underneath which road traffic passes, was specially built in China and shipped over in three containers.
Construction commenced over Christmas 1986 (which was very cold and winter gloves were needed by all involved) and was completed after Manchester was twinned with Wuhan in China. The structure was a gift from Manchester City Council to the Chinese community, and is adorned with dragons and phoenixes.
However, after many years exposed to the elements, the arch required restoration work to be undertaken; netting was wrapped around a part of the structure to prevent further tiles from falling.
The Manchester Chinatown Community Group undertook a series of charity events, including a dry land dragon boat race in June 2012. In early 2013 the archway had been successfully repaired, with restoration work being undertaken by Manchester and Cheshire Construction Company.