First Street

A landscape image of first street in the sunshine
First Street © Ben Williams

First Street is a vibrant neighbourhood in Manchester that can be found between Oxford Road and Deansgate, it is home to a number of businesses and is a popular spot for food, drink and culture.

Originally the site of the Gaythorn Gas Works, First Street’s redevelopment took shape with the opening of Number One First Street in 2010, five years later it was joined by HOME, a brand new arts centre which brought together The Library Theatre and Cornerhouse under one new organisation. Since then, First Street has blossomed into one of Manchester’s most popular spaces with a handful of bars and eateries, including the excellent Indian Tiffin Room, the aptly named Gas Works and MasterChef-winner Simon Wood’s acclaimed restaurant, WOOD.

HOME remains the star attraction here, it has welcomed almost three million visitors since it opened its doors to the public. This £25 million multimedia venue has rapidly emerged as a major cultural destination in its own right. It stands at the centre of the city’s creative world, offering a varied and highly-innovative programme of art, theatre and film. HOME features no less than five cinema screens and two theatre spaces. It also houses an airy art gallery and a bookshop stocked with a wide range of titles specialising in contemporary visual art, theatre, cinema, cultural studies, music, architecture, and much more.

Culture is at the centre of First Street’s success, the neighbourhood hosted Homeground, an outdoor summer-long festival in 2021 when indoor cultural spaces were closed due to COVID restrictions, and later that year The Fire Garden, a major attraction at Corridor of Light.

First Street is set to expand with a £400m, mixed-use development with lots of green space in the works. For now, the neighbourhood is a superb corner of Manchester and an excellent choice of destination for visitors.

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