The waiting is finally over and Manchester knows the name of its new square.

The new public realm at the heart of the NOMA neighbourhood has been named Sadler’s Yard, inspired by the pioneer James Sadler, who made the first manned balloon flight in Manchester in March 1785.

The new name arrives following an open forum for Manchester residents to suggest a name for the public area, which is being created between the iconic CIS Tower, New Century House and Hanover opposite Victoria Station. Shortlisted names were submitted to a specially selected panel, who considered each of the entries for their originality and rationale.

Simon Binns, a freelance journalist who chaired the panel, said: “It was an incredibly difficult decision as we had received such a high number of entries, all of which had their merits but – following a long and interesting debate – Sadler’s Yard was the preferred option. James Sadler was an innovator, entrepreneur and daredevil, and we are sure his spirit will be encapsulated in the Yard.”

David Pringle, Director of NOMA at The Co-operative Group, said: “We are proud of the new name and believe that the people of Manchester will take it to their hearts. We are looking forward to the first event in Sadler’s Yard, which is the official launch event in October. We plan to bring a series of enjoyable and interesting events to Sadler’s Yard from the end of the year and throughout 2016 and beyond.” 

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s city centre spokesperson, said: “Manchester has an incredibly rich history and, in the naming of this new square, we had a rare opportunity to bring a piece of Manchester’s heritage back to the fore and celebrate a little known piece of the city’s past. We give you Sadler’s Yard.” 

Richard O Smith is the author of ‘The Man with His Head in the Clouds’ – a biography of James Sadler, and he said: “No list of Great Britons is complete without the name James Sadler. He was the true pioneer of flight in this country – being the first Englishman to fly. Incredibly he managed that historic feat in a balloon he designed, built and piloted himself; not bad for an uneducated pastry cook who was barely literate. As one contemporary newspaper commented in Sadler’s lifetime on his celebrity status, everyone knew Sadler’s name, from the humblest cabbage seller to the mightiest lord.”

Sadler’s Yard is due to open in October.


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