Chinatown, Manchester

Chinatown, Manchester
China Town, Manchester.jpg
Chinatown's Faulkner Street paifang
Metropolitan borough Manchester
Metropolitan county Greater Manchester
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district M1
Dialling code 0161
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Manchester Central
List of places: UK • England • Greater Manchester

Chinatown, Manchester is an ethnic enclave within the city centre of Manchester. It is second largest Chinatown in the United Kingdom and the third largest in Europe.[1] It is located in east central Manchester,[2] and situated next to the Gay Village.[3] The Chinatown, which is spread out over streets in the city centre has an archway, situated on Faulkner street, once the largest in Europe,[4] which was completed in 1987,[5] now dwarfed by the Imperial Arch in Liverpool.[6] It not only contains many Chinese Restaurants, but Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean and other Pan-Asian restaurants, shops, bakeries and supermarkets, most of which have their main trading times on Sunday mornings.[3]



The first settlers to arrive in the city came in the early 20th century; according to the BBC, "Many arrived alone and were engaged in what is seen as a the traditional trade of laundries."[7] Manchester's first Chinese restaurant, Ping Hong, opened on Mosley Street in 1948,[7] on the eve of a Chinese immigration wave that would commence during the 1950s.[8] Manchester did not have a significant Chinese population, reaching only about 2000.[9] However, after World War II, there were severe labour shortages, and in response, the government passed the British Nationality Act 1948, which allowed easier access into the country.[9] Additionally, Hong Kong's rapid urbanisation meant that many farmers and traditional residents' homes were being destroyed by the urban sprawl, so many decided to migrate.[8][9]

The area's beginnings are rooted in the restaurant business, as many Chinese restaurants surfaced soon after the immigration boom. By the 1970s other Chinese businesses began to emerge, such as medicine shops, Chinese supermarkets, as well as financial and legal services, all serving the employees of the expanding number of Chinese restaurants in the area.[8][9] There was even a Hong Kong government office and a branch of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation during the 1970s.[9] In 1989 the Chinese Arts Centre opened in Chinatown.[10]


Chinatown celebrations at Chinese New Year, 2008
George Street, Chinatown

The area's nearest Metrolink station is Mosley Street,[11] though this only serves southbound traffic and is due for closure. The two nearest stations aside from Mosley Street are Piccadilly Gardens (which is also a bus interchange) and St Peter's Square Metrolink station. Furthermore, there is a carpark off Faulkner Street for visitors driving into Chinatown in private vehicles. The carpark is decorated in an oriental theme, in keeping with Chinatown and a mural of a junk, a Chinese sea vessel, is on the wall facing the carpark.


  1. ^ Christiansen, Flemming (2003). Chinatown, Europe: An Exploration of Overseas Chinese Identity in the 1990s. Routledge. pp. 202. ISBN 0700710728. 
  2. ^ "Manchester East Central". Wikitravel. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  3. ^ a b "Chinatown Map". Manchester-2002. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  4. ^ "British Chinese". Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  5. ^ "Manchester Chinatown". MyManchester. Archived from the original on 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  6. ^ "Chinese Arch". Visit Liverpool. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  7. ^ a b "History of Manchester's Chinatown". BBC. 2004-01-14. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  8. ^ a b c Sandy Tsin. "History of Manchester Chinatown". Manchester China Archive. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Community stories Chinatown". Manchester China Archive. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  10. ^ "History of Chinatown". Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  11. ^ "Mosley Street". Manchester Metrolink. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 

External links

Coordinates: 53°28′43″N 2°14′24″W / 53.4786°N 2.2401°W / 53.4786; -2.2401

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