Longsight is an ethnically diverse area, with high levels of poverty, deprivation and crime.
For many years, Longsight has been plagued by gang related violence, similar to that of nearby Moss Side. Most of the violence came from tensions between two rival gangs which fought "turf wars" with each other since the 1990s, resulting in many shootings and several deaths. The Gooch Gang, from neighbouring Moss Side, were jailed in 2009, Consequently, gun crime in Greater Manchester as a whole has fallen dramatically, from a high of 120 gang-related shootings in 2006 to just 16 in 2011.
Longsight has been in the parliamentary constituency of Manchester Gorton since boundary changes in 1983. Since that year, Gorton has been represented in the House of Commons by the Labour MP, the Rt Hon Sir Gerald Kaufman. At the 2015 General Election, Labour won 28,187 votes and 67.1% of the vote, the Greens came second with 4,108 votes (9.8%) and the Conseratives third with 4,063 (9.7%).
The area is represented on Manchester City Council by three councillors, currently; Luthfur Rahman [Labour], Abid Latif Chohan (Labour), and Suzanne Richards (Labour).
Previously known as Grindlow Marsh, it was incorporated into the City of Manchester in 1890. The district is bordered by Ardwick to the north, Rusholme to the west, Levenshulme to the south, and Gorton to the east. Longsight is currently defined by Hyde Road, Grey Street, Stockport Road, Plymouth Grove, Richmond Grove, Hathersage Road, Anson Road, Dickenson Road, Beresford Road, Old Hall Lane, Stockport Road, East Road, Pink Bank Lane, Nutsford Vale, Buckley Road and Mount Road. The old Roman road to Buxton (the A6, Stockport Road) roughly bisects the area.
Longsight has a very ethnically diverse population. According to the 2011 UK census, 72.9% of the population is from non-white ethnic groups, a 20% increase over the 2001 figure of 52.7%. This includes 55.3% who describe themselves as Asian or Asian British (including 35.7% Pakistani, 11.4% Bangladeshi); and 9.7% Black or Black British. The largest religious group is Muslim with 53.8% of the population, compared with the 2001 figure of 34.7% Muslim and 38.6% Christian. Only 7.0% of the population declined to state a religion, with 12.7% stating no religion. The census tended to underestimate immigrant communities, and it is likely that these groups in Longsight were underestimated are now proportionately larger. There are a number of churches in the area, including a large Pakistani community centre, a Jain temple, the Russian Orthodox Church of the Pokrov, Saint Agnes' Church and Bethshan International Church.
The main shopping centre is near the corner of Stockport Road and Dickenson Road, and contains a library and supermarkets as well as many smaller shops. Longsight Market, one of the busiest markets in the North West of England, is located on Dickenson Road. It can be easily spotted by its brightly coloured profiled roofs. The market hosts a general market every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and a second-hand market every Tuesday and Thursday. There are a large number of takeaway food shops and restaurants and a very wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and other supplies to cater for the interests of the various immigrant communities in the area.
The area of Longsight contains many of the notable buildings of Victoria Park. Daisy Bank Road is a particularly good example, featuring Edgar Wood's Grade I listed First Church of Christ, Scientist and the Edwardian art nouveau Chadlington House, as well as the residences of Charles Hallé and Emmeline Pankhurst. Pankhurst's family house is also situated on the edge of Longsight at Plymouth Grove.
Larger Victorian period properties are predominantly clustered around the leafy western parts of Longsight, an area informally known as Westpoint. Many grand Victorian villas can also be found overlooking Crowcroft Park in the most southern part of Longsight.
Situated on Stockport Road near the main market of Longsight is Longsight Library. Run by Manchester City Council, it provides services such as borrowing books, adult education services and a child homework centre. Great measures have been taken to make the architectural view of new Longsight Library building aesthetically pleasing.
The Apollo Theatre, Longsight Market, Crowcroft Park and new Longsight Library are the important places in the Longsight area.
Train: The railway line from Manchester to Stockport — the West Coast Main Line passes through the area, though Longsight railway station closed in 1958. The nearest stations are now at Ardwick and Levenshulme. Longsight is the site of Longsight Electric TMD and Longsight Diesel TMD which service trains for Virgin Trains, Northern and TransPennine Express. A plan to house Eurostar trains at Manchester International Depot was abandoned.
The earliest railway works was set up in 1842 by the Manchester and Birmingham Railway (M&BR). Little is known about its early history, except that it produced fifteen single wheeler passenger engines to a design by Sharp Stewart and Company. In 1846 the M&BR was amalgamated with the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) under John Ramsbottom. One 0-6-0 was produced in 1858 but then the works closed down as the LNWR transferred its operations to Crewe. The Longsight steam locomotive depot provided engines for express trains to London and elsewhere, and for local passenger trains.
Bus: Bus route 192, according to Stagecoach Manchester, is the busiest in Britain, with around 9 million passengers carried annually. The bus runs every 5–10 minutes daily until the late hours.
3 Addison Terrace, on the north side of Daisy Bank Road, Victoria Park, was the home of Charles Hallé, the founder of the Hallé Orchestra, in 1848. The pre-raphaelite artist Ford Madox Brown lived at the same address from 1883 to 1887.
Edwin Chadwick – a social reformer and liberal politician – was born in Longsight. He was later partially responsible for the 1848 Public Health Act and then the succeeding 1875 Public Health Act.
Jason Garrity, speedway rider.
John Thaw, the television, stage and cinema actor, was born in Longsight in 1942.
Ethel 'Sunny' Lowry, the first British woman to swim the English Channel, was born in Longsight in 1911.
The Arsenal player Danny Welbeck and Sunderland player Wes Brown are both from the area.
Harry Potter star Afshan Azad was also born in Longsight.
Keith Bennett, one of the Moors murders victims, was from Longsight. He was 12 years old when he disappeared on his way from his house to that of his grandmother on 16 June 1964. His disappearance was reported to police the following morning, but in spite of endless police searches he was not found. 22 years later, in November 1986, Moors murderers Ian Brady (who had also lived in Longsight when he was younger) and Myra Hindley revealed that he was one of their victims; just as police had first suspected after arresting them for three other murders in October 1965. Despite numerous searches for his body on Saddleworth Moor, it has yet to be found. His mother Winnie Johnson continued to live locally until her death in August 2012, and made constant calls in the media for help to locate her son's body.