Manchester is a large city and conurbation in the north of England, United Kingdom. It is one of the largest cities in the UK. In recent decades it has grown to merge with Stockport, Bury and other nearby towns to form an urban area. It is relatively close to the major cities of Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield. Manchester is encircled by a ring of motorways and has two principal railway stations, Victoria and Piccadilly. The latter offers intercity services to London. It has a light rail system, the Manchester Metrolink. In 1996 it was the scene of a bomb attack by the IRA. More recently it has become a major business centre, with the construction of many new buildings and developments around the city. It is a regional media hub, as evidenced by the new Mediacity complex being developed near Eccles. It is home to several universities, notably the University of Manchester, the UK's largest.