50 Of The Most Influential People In Manchester In 2017

The movers and shakers

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Manchester is one of the most influential cities in the UK - from its place in global industry, politics, history and culture, there’s so much it’s known for.

And where there are moments of wonder, there are people.

We’ve selected 50 amazing names - and one extra for luck - who we think are some of the most influential people in Manchester in 2017.

Let us know what you think.

Jeremy Roberts

The co-founder of Living Ventures is the face behind Manchester venues which you’ve definitely visited, Think Australasia, Blackhouse, Grand Pacific, Manchester House, Gusto and The Alchemist - and that’s not even all of them.

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Michael O’Hare

The Rabbit in the Moon chef is known for being lippy on Twitter - but he also has an incredible line in whipping up unbelievable Michelin-starred food at his venue in Leeds, The Man Behind The Curtain.

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Gary Usher

The talented chef patron of Didsbury’s Hispi hasn’t a moment to breathe, between his work in Manchester, Chester’s Sticky Walnut, Wirral’s Burnt Truffle and the soon-to-launch Wreckfish in Liverpool.

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Lyndon Higginson

The genius mind behind the part-time pizza parlour and party bar that is Crazy Pedros, this food adventurer’s got a finger in pies including The Liars Club, Cane & Grain, Science & Industry, Junkyard Golf Club, and B.eat Street Mcr.

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Jason Bailey

The director of GRUB might have started with big ideas, but as of this September, he’s bringing the UK’s largest street food event to Manchester - a success if ever there was one.

Ariana Grande

OK, so the US popstar isn’t from here, or even based here. But the honorary Manc offered support and love for a city she barely knew after the horrendous May 22 attack - and the year of 2017 has been defined by her appearance the arena and the One Love Manchester show in so many ways.

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Carol Kane

Fast fashion name Boohoo was valued at £2 billion earlier this year - and Carol is still at the helm of the brand after her co-founder Mahmud Kamani left earlier this year.

Nitin Passi

Missguided’s founder has created a massive brand for young women and, if the company’s blurb is to be believed, the ‘coolest office in the world’.

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Umar Kamani

Co-founder of Pretty Little Thing with brother Adam, a brand worn by Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and more - and the LA flagship opening was hosted by Kylie Jenner. That’s fashion.

Liam Gallagher

Oasis frontman that was, Manchester icon that always will be, we can’t get enough of the Burnage-born boy even though he’s in his 40s. Are you were, LG.

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Liam Fray

The Couteeners have launched into the stratosphere this year following their Old Trafford Cricket Ground gig which brought the buzz back to Manchester in June. Manchester’s ‘other Liam’ is a star in his own right.


Stockport’s own Tom Ogden, Charlie Salt, Josh Dewhurst, Joe Donovan and Myles Kellock are on their way up - Mercury Music Prize nominees and We Are Manchester gig headers, they’re definitely in bloom.

Bugzy Malone

The grime MC has been vocal about life in music outside London, but he still hasn’t betrayed his northern roots, which means a lot to us, mate.

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He left his beloved city many moons ago, but the crowd at his Arena show last year is testament to his popularity in the city still - and the release of the biopic England Is Mine shows we’re all still interested in the man, the myth.

Sara Cox

That Bolton twang’s never off the radio as she’s become the voice of the ‘80s thanks to her BBC Radio 2 programme. Just ideal when you need a bit of ‘Relax’ by Frankie.

Sacha Lord-Marchionne

The man behind Parklife and the Warehouse Project has spent 20 years bringing great nights out to the city, and his drive to deliver cash to charities shows he’s committed to Manchester.

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Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville

Sports heroes in Manchester they may be - or the Red half - but as directors of GG Hospitality, they’ve become business stars too, with hospitality projects like Rabbit In The Moon and Hotel Football alongside superclub Mahiki bringing biz to their own borough.

Anastasia Kenyon

The Manchester-based entrepreneur launched Palette online at just 24 and went stratospheric. It’s an app which enables anyone to find, connect with and book a make-up artist or makeover - a ‘LinkedIn’ for makeup-artists.

Ferran Soriano

The Manchester city CEO proved himself a true Blue when he started at the club, cutting its financial losses in half, and the busy man is still heading up City along with New York City FC And Melbourne City FC.

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David Levine

When it comes to start-ups, the CEO of Digital Bridge is onto a winner. The magical room visualisation tool that allows you to see new decor in your own home.

Angela Rayner

The Ashton-under-Lyne Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Education has been a vocal member of Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet, with a bright future in Labour circles assured.

Andy Burnham

The Greater Manchester Mayor left Westminster to serve the north and has been busy since then, guiding the region through the terror attack and homelessness and Spice crises in his first 100 days in office.

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Marcus Rashford

The Manchester United wonderkid has stunned fans, and has Jose Mourhino’s backing - after becoming part of England's Euro 2016 squad less than four months after making his Man U debut.

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Diane Modahl

The Commonwealth 800m gold medallist set up a foundation to work with kids from disadvantaged neighbourhoods following her success in the early ‘90s. That’s what we call giving something back.

Heather Knight

Women’s cricket had us all gripped when they nabbed the 2017 World Cup last month, and Rochdale’s was the captain of the victorious side - and rol model for many young women to come.

Steph Houghton

What Heather did for cricket, England football captain Steph’s being doing for women’s footie as captain of Manchester City women’s team and the England national team. Born in Durham, but made in Manchester.

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Dame Sarah Storey

The racing cyclist, former swimmer and Paralympian from Manchester bagged a total of fourteen gold medals, makingher the most successful female British Paralympian of all time. As if that wasn’t enough, she is a 29-time World champion (6 in swimming and 23 in cycling), a 21-time European champion (18 in swimming and 3 in cycling) and holds 75 world records.

Paul Martin OBE

The LGBT Foundation’s chief executive says he wants to ‘achieve greater things’ for the LGBTQ community, and he’s overseen massive strides in equality in the city during his 20 years working for the cause. Here’s to many more.

Karolina Koscien and Clare Courtney

This international duo - Karolina from Poland and Clare from Hong Kong - met in Levenshulme to form Heart and Parcel, making dumplings with migrant women here to help them learn communication skills and English while they make friends in their new home.

Mark Fletcher

There’s no one in Manchester who doesn’t know the handwork of the Manchester Pride CEO - just have a look at the massive event this weekend for his influence on the city’s varied population.

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Megan Marie Griffith

The theatre director and marketing and comms wizard heads up Girl Gang Manchester - a creative community promoting creativity, collaboration, confidence and positivity among young women in the region.

Rosy Elizabeth

The founder of Every Month Manchester is combatting period poverty by creating Period Packs - filled with of sanitary products and chocolate -  and distributing them packs to the women who need them.

Georgina Perry

The CEO of National Ugly Mugs, Georgina’s organisation helps to protect sex workers from violence by sending email and text alerts about dangerous offenders who may attack others.

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Dr Erinma Bell MBE

The peace activist set up charity Carisma in Moss Side and Longsight in 2002 after she and her husband witnessed a shooting - and has worked at grassroots level to help us shed the moniker ‘Gunchester’.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins

The Greater Manchester Police faced their toughest challenge to date with the May 22 Manchester Arena attack - and CC Hopkins was in charge throughout, protecting all of us with a brilliant team of officers.

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Corin Bell

Heading up the Real Junk Food Project Manchester, Corin’s showing us how pay-as-you-feel eateries can help pull a community together - and offer food to those who can struggle to afford it.

Anna Foster

The BBC 5 Live Drivetime co-host travels from Manchester to Syria, Iraq and Barcelona following the terror attacks - but still comes back to Media City to broadcast to millions.

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Clive Myrie

A familiar face to BBC fans, the newsreader - who as a correspondent covered everything from Clinton’s impeachment to the war in Kosovo - is Bolton-born and a Man City fan through and through… As his Twitter account reveals on match days.

Faisal Islam

As political editor of Sky News, Manchester native Faisal is arguably the most influential political journalist in the country - and his awards shelf speaks for itself.

Owen Jones

By his own admission, a proud Stopfordian - someone from Stockport to you and me - the left-wing writer and journalist is always opinionated, often controversial - and usually at the centre of the discussion.

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Solly Solomou

The CEO of LAD Bible has changed the way the world views news along with Arian Kalantari. With 27,316,688 watching what you do on Facebook, you know it’s something very successful indeed.

Viv Slack and Gary Dunstan

The duo founded Street Support in Manchester, an innovative charity which posts what homeless people need like and clothes, bedding and services - and asks the public if they can help.

Sam Jones

The co-founder of Not Just Soup works with some of the region’s best restaurants to offer a hot, well-cooked meal to homeless people - a soup kitchen that doesn’t serve soup.

Risha Lancaster

Coffee 4 Craig is a homeless charity which has a massive impact on the lives of those it feeds, clothes and helps to find shelter for - and co-founder Risha devotes her time to helping make other people’s lives better whatever way she can.

Carol Ann Duffy

The first woman, the first Scot, and the first openly LGBT person to hold the position of poet laureate in the UK, Queen Elizabeth II’s pick is also a professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Who needs Banksy when we have Mancsy, the yellow and black-hued street artist with a social conscience who loves the city so much he gives away his works for free to those who are lucky enough to find them every month.

Julie Hesmondhalgh

The recent appearance of this amazing TV and theatre actor in the third series of Broadchurch as rape victim Trish showed that she’s come a long way from Corrie’s Hayley - and we’re looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

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Maxine Peake

At Victoria Wood’s side, Maxine was a Twinkle - but since then, she’s been Shameless, Hamlet and a prominent activist, appearing at the Peterloo Memorial event on Sunday in St Peter’s Square

Danny Boyle

Oscar-winner and all-round nice guy, whether it’s for Trainspotting or Slumdog, you’ll know Danny’s work. And don’t even mention that epic 2012 Olympics opening ceremony in London

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Suranne Jones

Any actor who can go from the cobbles of Corrie to the side of Doctor Who - and then tak on the jaw-dropping Dr Foster, back next month for a second series - is a special one indeed. And Chadderton born and bred

Sam Barber

The tattoo artist offered Manchester bee tattoos for £50 each following the Arena attack and the scheme was a massive success, with the cash going to the We Love Manchester fund to help victims and their families