Right behind Manchester Piccadilly is the art and cultural heart of Manchester – The Northern Quarter. Industrial buildings repurposed into flats, shops and bars, combined with art adorning the outside of many buildings with a gothic/industrial feel, many would argue that this is one of the best spots in Manchester.
Manchester City Council has recognised the unique nature of the Northern Quarter. A 2003 planning document stated:
The Northern Quarter (N4) is strategically placed between the main Manchester retail and commercial core, Piccadilly Gateway, Ancoats and Shudehill. It represents a key piece in the city centre jigsaw, an area different in character and function to any other part of the city centre and of great strategic importance to Manchester as a city of distinctive quarters.