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Founder of Factory Records, owner of the Hacienda, and all round music iconoclast Tony Wilson allegedly once said “This is Manchester; we do things differently here.” This is true of our culture and approach to life, but also our politics too.

Current Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham called Manchester “the capital of coolest music on the planet” while then culture secretary John Whittingdale once implored the BBC to look outside of the “metropolitan elite” of Manchester. Burnham and Whittingdale sit at different wings of the political spectrum but their sentiments speak to a Manchester City Region that is growing in confidence, stature, and importance in the public imagination

And when it comes to the new devolution deals where Manchester leads the rest of the country follows. The new Trailblazer devolution deal gives the Greater Manchester Combined Authority deeper responsibility for skills, housing and transport, as well as a single funding settlement to allow greater flexibility over devolved funding.

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