Footfall Blooms Across the City at The Manchester Flower Festival

4th Jun 2024

Manchester’s annual floral takeover, The Manchester Flower Festival, contributed to an additional 70,000 visitors into the city centre last weekend, according to figures released today by organisers Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District.

The four-day event, which took place over the May bank holiday weekend, saw a 17% hike in footfall v the previous weekend, bringing the city to life with stunning floral installations and activities across the city.

Organised annually by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, on behalf of more than 600 city centre businesses including retail, hospitality and offices, the Manchester Flower Festival transformed the city centre into a floral extravaganza for a seventh consecutive year, with headline activity for 2024 including a ‘Manchester Icons’ Floral Trail.

Weaving its way through the city’s popular shopping streets, the trail featured 10 professionally designed pop-up gardens and displays including a floral art piece honouring the memory of Manchester legend, Caroline Aherne, a tribute to Girls Aloud who played at the city’s iconic AO Arena during the festival, Emmeline’s Town Hall featuring a wooden Manchester Town Hall planter alongside a wicker statue of Emmeline and a fabulous floral mannequin interpretation of Manchester icon, Rowetta, best known for her work with The Happy Mondays.

Additional displays celebrated Manchester’s Second Summer of Love rave scene, the legendary Hacienda, L.S. Lowry’s work, Sir Ian McKellen and his most loved character, Gandalf, and Boddingtons Brewery.

A Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street showcased beautiful bloom backdrops and displays from local Manchester florists while gardening greats, The RHS, were on hand with a dedicated flower stand where visitors could learn about RHS Garden Bridgewater. Businesses across the city blossomed with stunning window and doorway displays from Harvey Nichols, M&S, Boodles, Barbour, Bravissimo, House of Books and Friends and Whistles, while Selfridges took over Exchange Square with live DJs and alfresco dining and St Ann’s Square hosted pop-up food and drink from El Gato Negro and Tast Catala.

Visitors also enjoyed a host of workshops including Seed Bomb Making with Plant Co-operative, Pressed Flower Framing with Smart Floral Art, Oyster Mushroom Growing with Stockport Fungi and paper Flower Crafting with Søstrene Grene.

Outside the festival zone, city venues, public spaces and businesses supported the festival with their own commissioned gardens and displays, making up the Manchester Flower Festival Fringe. These included Floating Flower Clouds at Bridgewater Hall, the Science and Industry Museum’s Planting Stories Garden, a street art urban flower garden by Fred Aldous X The Hammo in Stevenson Square, the Sky Garden at Castlefield Viaduct, a Clocktower Beehive at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and a floral terrace at Holiday Inn Manchester’s Roby 1844.

Jane Sharrocks, Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District Chair and General Manager of Selfridges Exchange Square said: “we were delighted to see yet another successful year for the Manchester Flower Festival. Every year, the festival grows in both size and stature, with hundreds of businesses taking part and it’s a fantastic example of Manchester’s community spirit.”

Gary Williams, Head of Events at Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District and producer of The Manchester Flower Festival, said: “We’re thrilled to deliver another successful Manchester Flower Festival for our seventh consecutive year. The theme this year was Manchester Icons – the true icons for us this year have been all the gardeners, florists, city businesses, amazing charities and community groups who contributed to the festival and helped the city look its floral best during the May Bank Holiday weekend. We’re already planning and so excited for another edition of this fabulous festival in 2025!”.

For more media information, please contact Anoushka Done or Hannah Curry at ECHO on 07732 846650 or email /

Notes to Editors

The Manchester Flower Festival Producers

Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District is behind The Manchester Flower Festival as part of its annual calendar of public events in Manchester’s central shopping district. Manchester BID previously delivered the popular urban gardening festival Dig the City, which took place in Manchester’s retail heart from 2011-2015, and attracted national attention, event and RHS ‘In Bloom’ awards. Dig the City focused on inner-city gardening techniques and bringing RHS style Show Gardens onto the streets of Manchester to be judged by famous gardeners including Monty Don and Diarmuid Gavin. The event also featured talks, workshops, and garden parties.

Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District

BIDs are defined geographical areas where businesses work together and invest in agreed services, initiatives, and special events, and are financed by a levy made based on rateable value. They operate in most cities and towns across the UK. Manchester BID, which is managed by The City Centre Management Company, CityCo, was successful in securing a third, five-year term, in December 2022 and began the new term on 1st April 2023.

In its new term, the BID brings together 600 businesses including retail, hospitality, and offices, spanning Deansgate, King Street, Cross Street, St Ann’s Square, Market Street, New Cathedral Street, Manchester Arndale, Spring Gardens, Fountain Street and more.

In recent years, the BID has played an instrumental role in the city’s recovery post-Covid and brings businesses together with key authorities including Manchester City Council, Marketing Manchester, Transport for Greater Manchester, and Greater Manchester Police.

Work is delivered around four themes: Attracting Visitors, Environment, Community, and ESG.

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