The Bradford Ward has a population over 12,000 and includes the neighbourhoods of Beswick, Bradford and Openshaw. The ward is within the boundaries of New East Manchester Ltd, the Urban Regeneration Company for East Manchester and is part of the A6 Neighbourhood Policing Team (which covers only the Bradford ward). Part of the Sportcity development is also within the ward, including City of Manchester Stadium, National Squash Centre and the English Institute of Sport, as well as a National Cycling Centre Velodrome and the new National Indoor BMX Centre.
The ward has three parks (Philips Park, Openshaw Park and Bradford Park) and benefits from attractive green space along the River Medlock (Medlock Valley). I have created a short video of the River Medlock, to view it visit Wildlife Reporter.
The XVII Commonwealth Games held in 2002 were hosted right here in our ward and were extremely successful, the results of the legacy left by the games can be found here on the Commonwealth Games Legacy Website.
Manchester intended from the outset to stage the most successful Commonwealth Games ever, beginning with an Opening Ceremony, attended by Her Majesty the Queen, and taking place in the new purpose-built City of Manchester Stadium at Sportcity on the evening of Thursday 25th July, 2002. Most authorities agree that in this intention the City of Manchester handsomely succeeded in holding the biggest and best Commonwealth Games to date.
Videos from opening and closing ceremonies are available below:
The Games ran for ten days from Friday 26th July to Sunday 4th August, with the final track and field events in the new Stadium prior to the Closing Ceremony. 17 sports were represented with over 4000 competitors coming from 72 nations within the British Commonwealth. Around one million visitors are thought to have come to Manchester to see the event live and the world television audience was estimated to top one billion.
for more information about the games visit Manchester Commonwealth Games 2002
Sportcity is built on the site of what was once an important part of the local community, Bradford Colliery (Forge Pit). In its early days the colliery was probably supplying the whole of Manchester, it was in the 1900 century when the 2 modern shafts were dug, the first one was reputedly the second deepest in the britain coalfields. It was a sad day when the pit finally closed in 1968 due to geological instabilities which were causing subsidence, this has had long term effects on the community, in fact East Manchester still suffers from high unemployment, not only did the pit close but much of the surrounding major industry went as well. This left the area pretty much a ghost town, no propects of getting a job meant people had to leave the area to get work, at present a massive regeneration scheme is trying to bring people and jobs back into the area.
Bradford Ward was home of the tallest sculture in the UK, it was called the B of the Bang, the structure which cost £1.4m was designed by Thomas Heathwick and was constructed in Sheffield, the heaviest part of the structure arrived first at Sportcity and was erected in 2004 with the spikes added after. Technical difficulties and safety issues caused the structure to be removed by Manchester City Council who decided to take legal action in 2007, a year later an out of court settlement was reached and MCC received £1.7M in damages.
Many events and festivals take place in Bradford Ward including the Urbanathlon, Skyride, Seeds of the East Festival (Party in the Park) and many more sporting events at the various arenas we have. In fact we have the most concentrated area of sporting venues in Europe.