Welcome to Salford Now’s Live Blog! 

James Crabtree is curating our live feed today and will be updating you throughout the day on news relating to the ongoing fuel and food crisis, how Covid and Brexit are affecting business in the area and ramifications for Salford from the Conservative Party conference, taking place today in Manchester.

Plus developments for the city’s sports teams, weather and live updates from the emergency services.


2.8 million people, including Salfordians, set to benefit from The Greater Manchester Civic University Agreement

The vice-chancellors of five Greater Manchester universities signed The Greater Manchester Civic University Agreement at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on Friday 24 September.

All 5 universities will work together to support research and new businesses to drive growth in areas such as e-commerce, cyber security, data analytics, creative digital, smart cities and health tech, making Greater Manchester a top-5 European digital city-region.

“The Greater Manchester Civic University Agreement is the biggest and most ambitious partnership of its kind in the country covering two cities, eight boroughs and 2.8 million people and outlines how we will work together to level up our city region through innovation, reach our climate ambitions and support the creation of educational pathways into good quality jobs.”

To learn more about the agreement and what this means for jobs in Salford read the full article here


“We’re fighting convenience” – Salford’s first zero waste shop hosts its own clothes swap event


The Dispensary, which is widely regarded as Salford’s first zero waste shop, hosted its very first clothes swapping event over the weekend helping to promote sustainable shopping habits.

Fay Watts, 35, has run the Salford Dispensary in Walkden since its opening in late 2019 and after surviving three national lockdowns, she’s finally ready to get back to bringing the people of Salford a more sustainable shopping alternative, she said: “We’ve opened up in Walkden in the town centre to try and be more accessible… these refill shops open in gentrified areas and yeah it’s great like going to Chorlton or Didsbury or somewhere like that but we were trying to make it accessible.”

To find out more on how to reduce waste and hear more from Fay read the article here.



National Golf Lovers Day: The Economic Impact


Image: HeungSoon from Pixabay. No attribution needed.


Today, professional and non-professional golfers come together to celebrate National Golf Lovers day.

Like all sports the golf industry has been affected by the pandemic with golf courses closing and fixtures cancelled.

But golf tourism remains profitable, as local businesses like Clubhouse Golf, a golf equipment store in Salford, said: “As a company we make £60 million annually in revenue, so we can say we are a customers favourite when it comes to our golf equipment.


Read the article here to find out what golf does for the Salford community.


“I’d not hugged my family for months, and there I was being all raucous on set” – Salford alumni Joanna Higson talks filming Brassic 3 in the midst of a pandemic

Joanna Higson, Salford University alumni says she “felt so lucky to be back at work” with the return of hit Sky comedy Brassic.

Returning to our screens this coming Wednesday, excitement has grown around the release of the highly anticipated series three. Graduating from The University of Salford in 2006 with a first-class honours degree in Media and Performance, Joanna returned to the University in 2016 to study Broadcast Journalism, following a break from acting. But after landing a role in Brassic, following her graduation in 2017, the actress is yet to adventure into a career of journalism.

Joanna, who plays the role of Sugar, has seen her character develop throughout the two seasons, becoming a crucial member of the Brassic ‘gang’. The comedy series is known for its wild humour stemmed from the criminal adventures of the working-class friends, but despite this it’s not short of dark moments that provide it’s northern grit.


To learn more about the show and Joanna read the full article here


“Sport was a way of me finding myself” – Nathan Maguire, Team GB’s Silver Salfordian

Nathan Maguire, Silver medalist, in action. Photo credit: Nathan Maguire, used with permission

When Nathan Maguire thinks back to his journey to a Paralympic silver medal, he cites one influential figure in his life.

“My Dad, it was all my Dad.”

Maguire’s story is an inspirational one. Becoming paralysed aged eight overnight, to Paralympic success, the Salfordian speaks with excitement and positivity regarding his career to date, and thanks his Dad for his influence on his journey into para-sport.

“He’s always been quite a driving force behind my sport and finding me different things to try. My Dad just googled it, Manchester Mavericks, wheelchair basketball team. They trained in the Castlefield hotel in Manchester, and we emailed my coach and said could I come along, and she was more than welcoming.

“At eight years old, I went to bed and I woke up one morning and couldn’t walk. I had pins and needles in my feet, they moved up and up and up slowly, and stopped, mid-chest. Wherever the pins and needles were I couldn’t feel. So I can’t feel anything from there, down.”

To find out more about Nathan’s incredible story read the full article here



Review: A night of live music with Trolley Productions at the Old Pint Pot

A diverse cast of musicians came together last Thursday for a celebration of independent talent hosted by Salford-based label Trolley Productions at Salford venue, Old Pint Pot.

Trolley Productions, (credit: Jamie McGregor)

Only at this kind of live music event would you find a classically trained violinist on the same line up as a semi-professional beat-boxer and two indie bands. Set up by Salford University Student Jamie McGregor during his first year of studies, the label has been holding music nights in the Pint Pot’s upstairs music venue ever since.

During the breaks between lockdowns last year when venues such as the Pint Pot could reopen, the Trolley Productions nights were used as a vehicle to raise funds for worthy causes, with all money collected from entry fees donated to local charities and organisations.

Opening the evening was Jack Mitchell, an exceptional violinist with a very unique playing style of traditional bow playing paired with a guitar-type finger-picking technique. “Its so strange to be playing live again” he said after his set “It’s so good to be back!”


Read the full article and watch Jack’s performance here


Salford professor says ‘big gap’ in knowledge of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder following first ever UK-wide study

The leader of a University of Salford team examining foetal alcohol spectrum disorder says that there is more work to be done on researching the disorder.

Professor Penny Cook and her team from the university released the results of the first ever UK-based study into foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), but has said that they do not want to stop there.

A lot of children with FASD are misdiagnosed or do not receive a diagnosis at all, leading many children to not receive the correct support needed throughout their lives.

Professor Cook says: “With the funding that came to Salford, I think I worked it out that about 50 pence per person with FASD was being spent in the UK, and the equivalent figure for autism research worked out to be about £15. So, the magnitude of funding that’s gone into autism, which maybe as prevalent if not slightly less prevalent, was hugely more.”

Read the full article and the steps put in place to avoid FASD here. More information on the study is available on the University of Salford website, or you can read the full study via The Lancet.


Poppy exhibition set for permanent home in Salford’s Imperial War Museum North

The Imperial War Museum North, famous for its emotive exhibitions, is to become the permanent home for the famous poppy sculptures that were introduced to mark the centenary of World War One.

The sculpture was initially unveiled in 2014, with almost 900,000 ceramic poppies flooding the grounds of the Tower of London. ‘The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ installation drew millions of visitors drawn to the location – each poppy symbolises a British life lost at the front line in World War One.

Read the full story here


“Everybody is welcome” – Buile Hill sensory garden partially reopens after 20 years

‘Everybody is welcome’ – A new safe space for LGBTQ+ members, women, children and everyone in between, selflessly created by volunteers at the Buile Hill Mansion.

The sensory garden has plants that can be smelled, touched, heard and viewed, offering a unique sensory voyage for the first time in over 20 years.

Peter Simms, the lead horticulturalist says: “When the mansion closed as a museum, this area was closed as well. And obviously it became overgrown, ignored, derelict. And slowly the mansion association is bringing it back. “We’re all voluntary, and it’s about bringing an important space back to Salford, so people have access to it.”

Jelena Wilson another volunteer working on the project explained how the renovation is positive for those with memories of the garden before it was closed. She said: “We used to spend half our childhood in there, so it’s just been really like fulfilling to see it come into fruition.”


You can read the full article here and help support the cause by visiting the group’s Facebook page.




Strict new taxi driver dress code given to Salford cabbies

A Salford taxi firm has issued its drivers with rules and regulations, regarding behavior and dress code.

The changes include bringing in a set dress code, a ban on eating and vaping in cars, tougher background checks, and English proficiency tests. Stuart Ryan, 53, owner of Taxi Transfers in Salford said: “We’re in Salford, why shouldn’t we wear a uniform?”

The new taxi driver’s dress code is coming into place after all 10 boroughs signed up to minimum standards agreement that will outline a stricter code of conduct for drivers. In addition, the rules will now force drivers to take the shortest routes possible, set a uniform price, and ask passengers for permission before using the radio.

Listen to the exclusive interview with Stuart here


“Without CO2, we can’t serve beer” – CO2 shortage causes worry for Salford pubs as they face possible closure

With the nation’s attention currently being focused on the petrol crisis, Salford pubs may be the next casualty of the carbon dioxide shortage.

black lion
Amstel, a popular carbonated beer

Tim Flynn owns The New Oxford, in Bexley Square, Salford. He explained that at the minute, he has not been affected by the carbon dioxide shortage, however it may become an issue in the future. “I have a contract with a company, and I carry quite a bit of co2 in the cellar because we have 42 different items on draft, so I keep a huge amount of CO2 as a back up”

However, due to a lack of lorry drivers and record high gas and power prices, a carbon dioxide shortage has hit Britain, and there are worries that local businesses will not escape the repercussions.

Read the full story here



“They were the hub of working-class people, particularly in Salford” – Last Orders – The rise and fall of the Salford pubs

Nearly 25% of the UK’s pubs have closed their doors for the last time in the previous 10 years, Salford is one of many regions facing a new ‘pub pandemic’.

Nearly 11,000 small businesses and independent alehouses have closed the decline is thought to be a result of corporate chains such as the 879 Wetherspoon pubs as well as the 4,400 Enterprise Inns inundating the market.

However, our city’s battle to save the beloved local extends far beyond these recent decades. The past 130 years have seen over 350 of Salford’s pubs shut down due to changes in ownership, redevelopment, or simply a lack of demand. However, all is not lost – passionate pub conservationists such as CAMRA’s Steve Davis and Facebook activist, Lee Hodson, are both intent on their work to rescue their locals. Steve Davis, 64, CAMRA secretary for the Greater Manchester region, said: “To a certain extent, over time, the pubs are not what they were. They were the hub of working-class people, particularly in Salford – where the working man would go to escape for an hour or two.”


To find out more about the decline of the English pub and what people are doing to save it read the full article here


People on Universal Credit are struggling to feed themselves already, says a report led by the University of Salford

Research by the University of Salford has led to a discovery that half of all people claiming universal credit (UC) were living in uncertainty regarding food and other consumer products even before being hit by the removal of the £20-a-week uplift.

The research project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, is led by the University of Salford with the Universities of Kent and Leeds, the London School of Economics, and Deakin University in Australia.

Researchers commissioned an online YouGov survey of 6,327 benefits claimants between May and June. The survey found that people claiming Universal Credit saw no rise in food insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic, while those on legacy benefits who were not eligible for the uplift saw “sharply rising insecurity”.

Dr Ben Baumberg Geiger, lead author and reader at the University of Kent, said: “For the majority of severely food insecure claimants, the £500 million Household Support Fund cannot make up for the loss of £20/week for universal credit claimants.

Dr Baumberg Geiger adds: “Many people who already reduce how much they eat because of a lack of money will find themselves even worse off ,it’s a simple matter of maths.”

To find out more about the cut to universal credit read the full article here 


The Green Homes Grant is now available in Salford – here’s how you can insulate your home for less

A new scheme is being piloted from today in a number of local authorities, including Salford, by the Green Homes Grant.

Launched by E.ON, it is a £2 billion pound scheme fronted by the government, designed to aid homeowners paying for energy-saving improvements.

The aims of this scheme are to cut bills, improve the warmth of homes, and to help the UK reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

To find out how the grants work and how to apply for one read the full article here



“They don’t represent the whole population” – Protesters gather in Salford against tory conference

Students from the University of Salford attended a protest opposing The Conservative Party coinciding with the party conference being held this weekend.

Thousands of young people and students attended the march, one of which was Charlotte, a first-year student at Salford University, told Salford Now that she was joining the march on Sunday afternoon “to show solidarity and be united against the tories”.

She went onto say that the recent proposal by the government to reduce the student loan repayment threshold shows how “out of touch” the cabinet is. The proposal would see students have to start repaying loans when they earn £23,000 per year instead of the current £27,000. Jack, who studies film production in MediaCityUK, said “I’m displeased with the way the current cabinet is running things in this country, and they don’t represent the whole population.”

Read the full article here



Just what the Doctor ordered: Ten years after ‘The Crash of the Elysium’, Salford theatregoers would love to see the return of immersive, audience-driven productions

Ten years after the participatory art piece The Crash of the Elysium made its première at MediaCity local Sci-Fi and theatre fans say they’d welcome the return of the unique theatre piece.

Back in 2011, Doctor Who’s TARDIS materialised on Salford Quays for a live theatre event that put audiences in the shoes of the iconic Timelord, and left it to them to save the world.

Appearing as part of the Manchester International Festival (MIF) and the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, this truly abstract production was a joint collaboration between MediaCityUK, the BBC, and the Punchdrunk theatrical group.

The script, written by the Doctor Who writer, Tom MacRae (44) utilised Crash‘s production location and several key references to Salford during the story itself. Namely, whilst helping the Timelord, patrons came across artefacts from the Elysium, the Victorian ship that mysteriously shipwrecked after departing from Salford Quays in the 19th century, and found clues from editions of The Manchester Guardian from decades past. McRae explained that since the production was a participatory art piece the performance was different every time, as the outcome was reliant on the audience. No one fully knew where the story would go next, he said: “Once you leave The Crash of the Elysium knowing that you’re the only person…  that adventure as ever happened to, and ever will happen to again, I think that’s amazing you are part of something unique.”

Read the full article here


Hundreds of performances to see at the Lowry this Winter.

The Lowry celebrates this Winter season with numerous exhibitions, spanning a variety of genres including, spoken word, drama, comedy, circus, dance, plays and performance art pieces. Some notable performances this season include Death Drop. Following rave reviews at London’s Garrick Theatre, the fabulous killer comedy will make their première the venue’s Lyric Theatre stage from 13 to 16 October. The world premiere production of The Good Life visits from 26 to 30 October with an acclaimed cast including Rufus Hound. And genre-defining thriller Dial M For Murder adds an air of mystery from 15 to 20 November.

The first major exhibition since re-opening will display paintings by the renowned Scottish artist, Jock McFadyen. Jock McFadyen Goes to The Lowry: A Retrospective will run from Sat 16 October 2021 until Sun 27 February 2022. The permanent L.S Lowry collection remains open to visitors. The Lowry’s galleries are open Tues-Fri (11am-5pm) & Sat-Sun (10am-5pm). Full listings of all the performances and events taking place at The Lowry during Autumn/ Winter 2021 can be seen here.

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