PRESTWICH poet Tony Walsh ­— best known for his rendition of This is the Place following the Manchester Arena bomb ­— has won a top award.

His name was selected in The Best Performance category among winners of the first Manchester Culture Awards which was hosted by actor Julie Hesmondhalgh and BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nihal Arthanayake.

The awards recognise the very best of culture in the city over the past year and were established by the council to recognise both the massive contribution culture makes to the city's economy, and the role of culture in helping make Manchester a vibrant place people want to live, work in, and visit.

Ahead of the final, judges had to whittle down 300 nominations to just five finalists in each of the twelve different award categories.

Manchester City councillor Luthfur Rahman, executive member for schools, culture and leisure said: "What has been so fantastic about all the entries we had is that they have really showed off the incredible range and quality of cultural activities that have taken place in the city over the last year.

"They also highlighted the numerous partnerships that exist across the city ­— many of them behind the scenes and under the radar of most audience members ­— that help make all this great culture happen.

"We've always punched above our weight in terms of our cultural offer, and the calibre not just of this year's winners, but of all those who were nominated for awards, shows that we continue to do so."