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        Blog by Tom Bloxham MBE

        "It’s not a moment to say “It Will Never Work”, it’s time to think big.” Our exhibition comes to Manchester

        09 November 2018
        A 3 minute read by Tom Bloxham

        Oh what a night! We welcomed almost 500 people to Manchester Metropolitan University’s Benzie Building - home to the art and architecture schools - to see our anniversary exhibition “It Will Never Work”.

        There were old friends, new friends, customers, colleagues and of course our speakers; the University’s Chancellor Malcolm Press said some lovely, kind words first and was followed by the RIBA’s Suzy Jones, whose hard work has made the exhibition happen in no less than four cities now!

        Tom with MMU Chancellor Malcolm Press, Suzy Jones of RIBA North and Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham

        Then it was the turn of Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham who gave a rousing speech - confessing that Fort Dunlop was his favourite Urban Splash scheme.

        The Mayor reflected on moving away from a less than prosperous Manchester to London in the early 1990s before being drawn back to the city thanks to the work that’d been done here: "credit to those who stayed here” he said.

        Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham

        “Urban Splash back then were delivering ambitious iconic projects that could breathe new life back into the heritage of our industrial north. Who else was doing that..? I think Urban Splash showed more ambition than probably any government has ever shown and brought through projects that embodied that.

        "Hopefully today we feel more ambitious about where we go from here. Urban Splash is synonymous with Manchester’s success. I hope our story goes on further and am certain Urban Splash will continue to help us use devolution to take this city to greater heights.

        "It’s not a moment to say “It Will Never Work”, it’s time to think big.”

        Crowds gather at our exhibition launch in Manchester

        Andy was followed on stage by myself and my fellow directors as we reflected on 25 great years.

        Thanks to everyone who came along; the show’s on in Manchester until 17th November before it moves to Park Hill in Sheffield. Our launch there’s on 21st of the month and you can register to attend here.

        About the author

        Tom Bloxham

        Chairman and Co-Founder

        The least qualified board member, Tom sold fire extinguishers door to door, studied a degree in politics, sold records then posters and ran a market stall down Affleck's Arcade.

        He made more money sub-letting the space than selling his posters. That's how it started. Following setting up a pub business, nightclub and radio station, Tom, along with Jonathan Falkingham MBE, founded Urban Splash in 1993.

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