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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 12:23 GMT
Manchester 2002: A lasting legacy
Glasgow has been chosen to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The event was held in Manchester in 2002. Laura Pettigrew reports on the impact the games had on the north-west of England.


A lavish opening ceremony in front of a 38,000-strong crowd at the City of Manchester stadium set the scene for what was billed as the "Friendly Games".

Manchester 2002 opening ceremony
A new stadium was built for the games in Manchester's east end

The organisers of the 2002 Commonwealth Games promised that the event would change the city forever.

Sound familiar? Those behind the Glasgow 2014 bid were chanting a similar mantra.

But can lessons really be learned from Manchester? The games brought 10 days of fierce sporting competition - but did they leave behind a lasting legacy?

The east end of the city hosted the games with a special purpose-built stadium, as is planned in Glasgow.

Local resident Barbara Taylor, who has lived in the area all her life, said she had witnessed huge changes as a result of the 2002 games.

She said: "In the past, it was all heavy industry and most of the time the young men followed in their fathers' footsteps and went into the big firms. It was very dirty and very smelly.

Manchester has proved itself to be a 'can do' city, with a great sense of civic pride
Vicky Rosin
Manchester City Council

"Having the games here was a catalyst for the future. The money that is now coming into east Manchester is terrific.

"A lot of it is being spent on new houses, new builds and trying to attract people and businesses to relocate in the area."

Across Manchester it is estimated that about 6,000 jobs were created as a result of the games, with 700m spent on infrastructure.

But perhaps one of the biggest benefits was that the event provided an opportunity to showcase the city on the global stage.

Vicky Rosin, assistant chief executive of Manchester City Council, said: "Those 10 days of the Commonwealth Games showed a new vibrant modern Manchester that was not necessarily the perception many people had of the city.

"Manchester has proved itself to be a 'can do' city, with a great sense of civic pride. It's now a city worth visiting."

Craig McLean, cyclist
Young athletes have benefited from better training facilities

The games saw millions spent on sporting facilities in Manchester.

This had long-term benefits for young athletes of the future.

Scottish cyclist and former world champion Craig McLean moved to Manchester to make use of its better training facilities.

He said: "We are very restricted in Scotland in terms of training facilities.

"We have some outdoor facilities but the climate is not ideal.

"To have an indoor facility in Scotland, like the one in Manchester, would be fantastic and make a huge difference to the sport."

Gradual legacy

Hosting the 2002 Commonwealth Games certainly didn't solve all of Manchester's problems.

But five years on it is clear it did go some way towards making the city a more attractive place to visitors, athletes and businesses.

According to Sean McGonigle of the East Manchester Regeneration Company, the legacy is a gradual one which will take 20 or so years to complete.

He said: "We are under no illusions that things will change overnight. We still have a big challenge on our hands.

"However, the Commonwealth Games was fundamental to kick-start this whole regeneration process in Manchester.

"That will now continue for the foreseeable future."

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