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Last Updated: Monday, 26 May, 2003, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Rainy city is UK's most creative
Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco
Sun-kissed San Francisco is similar to rainy Manchester, the report says
Visitors to Manchester could be forgiven for thinking they are in San Francisco - and it is not just the trams.

A report says the North West city is the UK's most creative, while its Californian counterpart wins the honour in the US.

Manchester's notoriously rainy climate is at odds with that of sun-kissed San Francisco.

But the Boho Britain creativity index said the cities were very similar when it came to attracting creative people.

The index was created by the US economic regeneration expert Richard Florida, who measured the appeal of cities to the new creative class which he says indicate a city's economic health.

Queer as Folk
Manchester's Mardi Gras gay festival is one of the largest in Europe
The annual San Francisco Pride event is famous throughout the US
The world's first computer was built in Manchester
San Francisco and Silicon Valley is the heart of the US's computer industry
Manchester bands such as Oasis have achieved worldwide fame
San Francisco is famous for its Opera company
The three indicators are ethnic diversity, proportion of gay residents and the number of patent applications per head.

Both San Francisco's Castro area and Manchester's Canal Street are famous for their gay-friendliness with the latter featuring in the television series, Queer as Folk.

Europe's biggest gay and lesbian festival, EuroPride, is due to be held in the city later in 2003.

'Outside the norm'

Mr Florida said: "Most centres of technology-based business growth also have high concentrations of gay couples.

"What I have found is that straight men and women also look for a visibly gay community as an indication that a city is likely to be an exciting place to live.

"Creative, innovative and entrepreneurial activities tend to flourish in the same kinds of places that attract gays and others outside the norm.

"When people with varied backgrounds and attitudes collide, economic growth is likely."

Leicester and London shared second place in the UK while Bristol finished fifth, Birmingham seventh, Liverpool in 17th and Newcastle/Gateshead 21st.

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