What a year it has been! We are taking a look back through the events of 2020 and reflecting on a truly unique year.

In early 2020 Wigan MP Lisa Nandy joined the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

“Without what were once our Labour heartlands we will never win power in Westminster and help to buld the country we know we can be.“ while concluding her message to her constituents by saying”

(Lisa Nandy)

Keir Starmer was at the time favourite among Labour members to be the next leader of the party with Salford’s Rebecca Long-Bailey placing second in a YouGov poll. Shortly after Nandy’s announcement Long-Bailey also announced she would run to lead the party also.

As Bailey and Starmer became front runners in the race the Salford MP’s hopes suffered a blow as UNISON, the UK’s largest union, decided to back Keir Starmer to become the next leader of the Labour Party.

Worrying signs emerged as UK retailers had their worst year in a quarter of a century in 2019 according to figures from the British Retail Consortium.

“2019 was the worst year on record and the first year to show an overall decline in retail sales. This was also reflected in the CVAs, shop closures and job losses that the industry suffered in 2019. Twice the UK faced the prospect of a no deal Brexit, as well as political instability that concluded in a December General Election – further weakening demand for the festive period.”

(Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of British Retail Consortium)

Research from Manchester Metropolitan University and Coventry University suggested that pop-up retail spaces had become a necessary part of the shopping experience and play a key role in customer engagement.

Following the trial of Reynard Sinaga the Home Secretary Priti Patel called for the classification of the so called date rape drugs gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) to be reviewed by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

Plans for a Metrolink extension from East Didsbury to Stockport, potentially having work start by 2025, came a step closer after The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham announced that former head of the Civil Service, Lord Bob Kerslake, has been appointed as Chair of the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation  in a major move to help boost the ambitious regeneration plans for the town centre.

Two members of the public received bravery awards for their actions at Victoria Station stabbing. The attacker was very quickly detained by officers with the help of Adam Ward and Miah Uddin and was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Greater Manchester Police recruited saw the largest single intake of female officers in January 2020. Out of the 142 officers attesting during the ceremony, 67 were female recruits, totalling 45% of the new starters.

Andy Burnham announced proposals for a lower council tax increase for Greater Manchester services than 2019/20 but would still able to support the recruitment of more police officers and firefighters.

Manchester City Council sent a letter of support to it’s Chinese sister city, Wuhan, following an outbreak of Coronavirus.

Coronation Street fans were taken on a trip down memory lane in a special episode to mark the 10,000th installment of the world’s longest running serial drama.

Northern Rail was named the worst train operator in the country after the transport user watchdog released its latest National Rail Passenger Survey of almost 28,000 passengers.

The Chancellor unveiled the first images of the Brexit coin, a 50p bearing the inscription ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’ and the date the UK leaves the EU.

Tesco announced that it would replace plastic-wrapped multipacks with plastic-free multibuys on tinned food eliminating 350 tonnes of plastic from the environment.

It was announced in January that The Gambling Commission would ban on gambling businesses allowing consumers in Great Britain to use credit cards to gamble with the ban coming into effect in April.

Young Voices, the largest school choir concerts in the World, surpassed Take That’s record of 46 shows at Manchester Arena.

“To break Take That’s venue record here in Manchester is an incredibly special moment in the history of Young Voices. Manchester Arena holds a very special place in the YV journey as we have played here every year since the arena first opened its doors. Special thanks goes to all of those schools, teachers and children who have taken part…this is your record!” (Ben Lewis, CEO of Young Voices International)

Kellogg’s Manchester Factory featured in an hour-long Channel 5 documentary at the start of the year unveiling the secrets behind the cereal giant’s iconic products. The documentary ‘Secrets of the Kellogg’s Factory’ is still available to watch here.

Stockport band Blossoms announced details of a live show for February, in support of their album Foolish Loving Spaces. The gigs went ahead and were a smashing success in February at the Ritz in Manchester.


Alston Bar & Beef at Corn Exchange Manchester celebrated Burns Night with an exclusive menu in honour of Scotland’s national poet. The delicious menu was crafted to celebrate the best of Scotland’s larder, but with a modern twist, and included seasonal favourites such as cock-a-leekie, a traditional heart-warming soup, followed by braised beef & haggis olive with a baked potato skin, whipped potato, bone-marrow butter and whisky sauce.

Black Sheep Coffee, the specialist independent coffee shop group best known for its cafes, kiosks and cocktail bars, opened a brand new site at Manchester’s Gateway House. The site was the fourth addition to Black Sheep Coffee’s presence in Manchester, joining the existing venues located in Piccadilly Place, Spring Gardens and Deansgate, Manchester.

To celebrate Chinese New Year, a 22-meter dragon skied down the longest indoor snow slope in the UK at Chill Factore. Taking to the slope like a duck to water, the enormous skiing dragon glided gracefully down the slope.

People headed to Manchester to see in the Year of the Rat at one of Europe’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations. Embarking on a brand-new route for 2020, Manchester’s legendary Dragon Parade took place starting from outside Manchester Central Library in St Peter’s Square.

In true Ivy Asia (the second floor of The Ivy Spinningfields) style, the bar and restaurant added a delicious golden twist to tradition with a decadent dessert, a giant, golden fortune cookie, offering guests the chance of winning a meal for two to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Blue Monday, which fell on Monday 20th January, saw hero Training Clubs, a new health club to launch in Manchester is officially launching its Wellbeing Hub to support mental health in the region.

Manchester United and LEGO fans alike were given the opportunity to build Old Trafford brick by brick to mark the 110 years at the iconic stadium.


Stockport County confirmed the sale of the Club to local businessman, Mark Stott in a deal that will leave the club debt free and in a financially stable position.

Manchester City launched CITY+ in January which was a brand-new content subscription.


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