Greater Manchester has gained World Health Organisation status to become the UK’s first age-friendly city region.

To mark the achievement the region is holding a Festival of Ageing – which will bring together leading academics, researchers, healthcare practitioners, clinicians, industry representatives and stakeholders from across the globe to celebrate best practice research and innovation in the study and implementation of falls prevention in older people.

It follows the 47th Annual Conference of the British Society of Gerontology which was held at The University of Manchester in July.

The conference was the result of a successful joint-bid by the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford, themed around ‘Ageing in an Unequal World’.

Marketing Manchester supported the universities’ bid, which resulted in 30 European Cities visiting the city to discuss leading age-related research and innovation.

Stephanie Newton, Head of Business Tourism at Marketing Manchester, said:

“It was a pleasure to support three of the region’s leading universities to secure this bid – Manchester continues to lead the way in healthcare innovation, with world-class facilities and leading scientific minds all choosing the city-region as a base for its research and expertise.”

Professor Deborah Price, President of the British Society of Gerontology and Director of the University of Manchester Institute of Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA), added:

“I was very proud of our ability to show the world what we are doing here – both at the University, and across the city and region. We have the unique capability here to link our research, policy and practice communities, and this collaboration formed part of the conference. I am so grateful to everyone who made this possible.”

Manchester’s popularity as a destination for scientific conferences and meetings is reflected in the number of recent delegations welcomed to the city, including; the British Geriatrics Society, International Haemovigilance Network, and the 8th World Conference on 3D Fabrics and their Applications.