John Harris

Journalist & Author

Sir Howard Bernstein on reinventing Manchester: ‘Remarkable things have been achieved’

As the city’s veteran chief executive calls time on a career that transformed the skyline from one of post-industrial decline to thriving metropolis, he talks about the threat of Brexit, the future for the northern powerhouse and why George Osborne is ‘a top guy’

‘I don’t think anybody can ever say that a city is complete,” says Sir Howard Bernstein. “Cities constantly reinvent themselves, and there are different phases in a city’s transformation. So the job’s never done. I could be here for another 50 years.”

He laughs at the absurdity of the thought, but it’s not hard to see what he means. A stone’s throw from where we are talking, there are sights that will be familiar to any visitor to modern Manchester: a skyline dotted with cranes, innumerable new buildings, and endless gangs of construction workers. As ever, the city feels impatient, and restless.

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