Manchester’s Postcodes and Districts: An In-Depth Exploration of the City’s Postal System

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Posted on April 9, 2023

The city of Manchester has long been a significant centre of commerce, culture, and industry in the United Kingdom. As such, an efficient postal system has been essential to its ongoing growth and development. In the early 20th century, Manchester adopted the postal district system model pioneered in London, using a combination of letters and numbers to designate distinct districts within the city. This article offers a comprehensive look at Manchester’s postcodes and districts, delving into their history, structure, and impact on the city’s postal services.

The Origins of Manchester’s Postal District System

Early Adoption and Expansion

Inspired by the successful implementation of the postal district system in London, Manchester adopted a similar approach in the early 20th century. The city was divided into distinct districts, each designated by the letter ‘M’ followed by a number (e.g., M1, M2, M3). This system allowed Manchester to streamline mail sorting and delivery, catering to its rapidly growing population during the Industrial Revolution.

Ongoing Adaptation

Manchester’s postal district system has continued to evolve over the years to accommodate the city’s growth and changing needs. The expansion of the city and its population necessitated the ongoing development of its postal codes, with new alphanumeric combinations added to improve the accuracy and efficiency of mail delivery services.


Structure of Manchester’s Postal Districts

Central Manchester

Central Manchester is home to several key districts, each with its own unique postcode. These include:

  1. M1: This district covers the city centre, including Piccadilly, the Northern Quarter, and Ancoats. As the heart of Manchester, this area is known for its bustling shopping centres, vibrant nightlife, and cultural attractions.
  2. M2: This district encompasses the central business district, including Deansgate and Spinningfields. M2 is home to many of Manchester’s corporate headquarters, legal firms, and financial institutions.
  3. M3: Covering the western part of the city centre, M3 includes the Castlefield area, known for its historical sites, picturesque canals, and repurposed industrial buildings.


Greater Manchester

Beyond the city centre, Manchester’s postal districts extend to include various suburbs and neighbouring towns. Some of these include:

  1. M4: This district covers the Ancoats and Northern Quarter areas, which have undergone significant redevelopment in recent years. M4 is now known for its creative industries, independent businesses, and trendy bars and restaurants.
  2. M20: Home to the popular residential neighbourhoods of Didsbury and Withington, M20 is an attractive destination for families and young professionals alike. This district is known for its green spaces, charming architecture, and lively local communities.
  3. M32: This district includes the towns of Stretford and Trafford Park, with the latter being a significant industrial and business hub in the Greater Manchester area.


Greater Manchester Postcode (Outcodes) Districts List

This table provides a comprehensive overview of the various postcode districts in Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. It outlines the specific areas covered within each postcode district, as well as the corresponding local authority areas.

Postcode Outcodes Coverage Local authorities
M1 Piccadilly, City Centre, Market Street Manchester
M2 Deansgate, City Centre Manchester
M3 City Centre, Deansgate, Castlefield Manchester
M3 Blackfriars, Greengate, Trinity Salford
M4 Ancoats, Northern Quarter, Strangeways Manchester
M5 Ordsall, Seedley, Weaste, University Salford
M6 Pendleton, Irlams o’ th’ Height, Langworthy, Seedley, Charlestown Salford
M7 Higher Broughton, Cheetwood, Lower Broughton, Kersal Salford
M8 Crumpsall, Cheetham Hill Manchester
M9 Harpurhey, Blackley Manchester
M11 Clayton, Openshaw, Beswick Manchester
M12 Ardwick, Longsight, Chorlton-on-Medlock Manchester
M13 Ardwick, Longsight, Chorlton-on-Medlock Manchester
M14 Fallowfield, Moss Side, Ladybarn, Rusholme, Victoria Park, Longsight Manchester
M15 Hulme, Manchester Science Park, Old Trafford Manchester, Trafford
M16 Firswood, Old Trafford, Whalley Range, Moss Side Manchester, Trafford
M17 Trafford Park, The Trafford Centre Trafford
M18 Abbey Hey, Gorton Manchester
M19 Levenshulme, Burnage Manchester, Stockport
M20 Didsbury, Withington Manchester
M21 Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Barlow Moor Manchester
M22 Wythenshawe, Northenden, Sharston Industrial Area Manchester
M23 Baguley, Brooklands, Roundthorn Industrial Estate Manchester, Trafford
M24 Middleton, Alkrington, Chadderton Rochdale, Oldham
M25 Prestwich, Sedgley Park, Simister Bury
M26 Radcliffe, Stoneclough Bury, Bolton
M27 Swinton, Clifton, Pendlebury, Wardley, Agecroft Salford
M28 Worsley, Walkden, Boothstown, Mosley Common, Wardley Industrial Estate Salford, Wigan
M29 Tyldesley, Astley Wigan
M30 Eccles, Monton, Peel Green, Winton, Patricroft, Barton-upon-Irwell, Ellesmere Park Salford
M31 Carrington, Partington Trafford
M32 Stretford Trafford
M33 Sale, Brooklands Trafford
M34 Denton, Audenshaw Tameside
M35 Failsworth Oldham
M38 Little Hulton Salford
M40 Collyhurst, Miles Platting, Moston, New Moston, Newton Heath Manchester
M41 Urmston, Davyhulme, Flixton, Trafford Park Trafford
M43 Droylsden Tameside
M44 Irlam, Cadishead Salford
M45 Whitefield Bury
M46 Atherton Wigan, Bolton
M50 Salford Quays, MediaCityUK Salford
M60 Large businesses and PO Box Salford
M90 Manchester Airport Manchester


The Impact of Manchester’s Postal District System

The adoption of the postal district system has had a lasting impact on Manchester’s postal services, as well as the city itself. The streamlined process for sorting and delivering mail has contributed to the efficiency of the city’s postal network, while the alphanumeric codes have become an integral part of Manchester’s identity.

Moreover, the postal district system has enabled Manchester to better manage its urban growth and development. The clear delineation of districts has facilitated city planning, allowing officials to better allocate resources and monitor demographic changes.

The implementation of the postal district system in Manchester has been instrumental in enhancing the city’s postal services and supporting its ongoing growth and development. The clear and organised structure of Manchester’s postcodes and districts has allowed for more.