Manchester and Wakefield join UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities

February 2024

Manchester and Wakefield District have become the latest UK cities to join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities.

Connecting education, training and cultural institutions and engaging a wide range of partners such as public-sector representatives, civil society organisations and employers is a key feature of UNESCO Learning Cities.

UNESCO Learning Cities effectively mobilise resources in every sector to promote inclusive and quality learning, from basic to higher education. UNESCO Learning Cities revitalise learning in families and communities and facilitate learning for and in the workplace while extending the use of modern learning technologies.

Manchester and Wakefield District were two of 64 cities from 35 countries join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) on 14 February 2024, in recognition of their outstanding efforts to make lifelong learning a reality for all at the local level.

About the two cities:


Manchester is a thriving and diverse city, known as a ‘city of firsts’ in recognition of its innovative history dating back to the Industrial Revolution. Manchester is an international and outward looking city with learning at the heart of Manchester’s thriving and inclusive community, and is embedded in its history, schools, colleges, libraries, and universities.

Lifelong learning across the city is led by the Manchester Adult Skills Network, a strategic network consisting of public and civil service departments, universities, housing, training providers and more who collectively represent, engage with, and advocate for, Manchester’s residents.


Wakefield is a welcoming and ethnically diverse District rooted in thousands of years of agriculture, heritage, industry, and culture.

Wakefield District is ambitious for itself through art, culture, and ethos of lifelong learning, enabling bright futures in a progressive city for its residents, sharing experiences and bringing communities together under the banner of ‘Freedom Through Learning’.

The partners who represent ‘Learn Wakefield District’ have a shared passion to ensure that all residents and businesses encourage, engage, and celebrate learning for life, learning for work and learning for learning’s sake.

Further information on all of the UK Cities of Learning can be found HERE.