Rebuilding Manchester: The Wartime Debate on Post-war Reconstruction, 1941-5

Alan Kidd

Department of History, Manchester Metropolitan University


The Manchester Blitz of December 1940 destroyed or seriously damaged hundreds of commercial and residential buildings within a mile radius of Albert Square. Within days of this devastation plans for the post-war reconstruction of Manchester were being discussed. But the scope of these plans and the future they envisaged went far beyond making good the damage caused by the Luftwaffe. The eventual result was the wide ranging and ambitious City of Manchester Plan of 1945 prepared under the jurisdiction of city surveyor and engineer Rowland Nicholas. This paper will explore the wartime debates over reconstruction that culminated in the Nicholas plan of 1945.


Alan Kidd is Emeritus Professor of Social & Regional History at MMU and among my publications is Manchester: A History, published by Carnegie.


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