Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture for 2022 has been announced.
Stalybridge will hold the title for the next 12 months, following in the footsteps of Bury, which was Greater Manchester’s first City of Culture in both 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
The town of Tameside has been selected by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which is providing a £50,000 grant to develop a program of cultural events and activities celebrating Stalybridge’s unique heritage.
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It is hoped the move will bring new opportunities to residents and visitors to the post-industrial city, which boasts a beautiful canalside location near the Peak District.
Artist-led walks and trails, community projects and outdoor activities such as theater and storytelling are all included in Tameside Council’s bid for the title, and a full cultural program for 2022 is to be announced.
Coun Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council Culture Executive, said: “I am so proud for Stalybridge and our local community to receive this recognition.
“We already know what an amazing, vibrant and creative place Stalybridge is, but this is an opportunity to showcase our city’s amazing cultural identity even more broadly.”
Details of Town of Culture’s special events are yet to be announced, but there’s already plenty to explore in Stalybridge.
Here are some of the best things to see and do in the city this year.
1st Stalybridge Street Festival
(Image: ABNM Photography)
This popular event return, which was launched on a trial basis last year, returns on the second Friday night of every month from March through December.
Thousands flocked to Armentieres Square last year to enjoy food from a variety of cuisines alongside live entertainment – with the event proving to be the perfect place to enjoy delicious food and drink while getting to know the city.
2. Stalybridge Country Park
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
The town is surrounded by stunning countryside and Stalybridge Country Park provides a stunning backdrop for a walk in Millbrook and Carrbrook.
The former industrial landscape is a hub for wildlife, while the park is also a popular picnic spot.
3. Stalybridge Buffet Bar…
(Image: El Pollock/ Wikipedia)
Revered by beer fans across the North as a key stop on the Transpennine Real Ale Trail, this gem even boasts a Crunchy Butty menu, which is returning for a limited time next week.
The bar has been serving customers at Stalybridge station since 1885 and is one of the last remaining Victorian station buffet bars with many of its original features.
4. …and the other great pubs from ‘Staly Vegas’
(Image: Lee McLean / SWNS)
While the moniker may have faded in recent years, Stalybridge still has plenty of great places to grab a pint.
It even has the two pubs with the longest and shortest names in the country – The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn and The Q Inn.
5. Stamford Park and Cheetham Park
As well as the scenic areas surrounding the city, Stamford Park and Cheetham Park are stunning places to stroll in Stalybridge.
Picturesque Stamford Park is the city’s top-rated attraction on Trip Advisor, while Cheetham Park features a sculpture trail, nature reserve and community orchard.
6. Astley Cheetham Art Gallery
This historic site was built in 1901 by John Frederick Cheetham and his wife Beatrice Astley as a gift to the city, and after being used as a lecture theater in the early 20th century it became a gallery.
The collection has grown over the years and the gallery welcomes children, with a craft activity and many paintings on display.
7. People’s Gallery and The Bridge Arts Center
(Image: Google Maps)
Elsewhere in the city center, the People’s Gallery is a volunteer-run exhibition at The Bridge Arts Center that has been running for more than 20 years.
The gallery showcases brilliant work by talented local artists.
8. Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Tame Valley
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
Walkers can explore Stalybridge as they hike along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Tame Valley.
Dedicated city volunteers regularly keep the area clean, leaving a welcoming and scenic walkway for people to enjoy.
Did we forget something on the list? Share your highlights from Stalybridge in the comments section below.