Visitors to the Manchester Christmas Markets will notice specialist officers – including armed police – patrolling the festivities.
The markets kick off this week and will remain in place across the city centre until just before Christmas.
The seasonal event attracts thousands from around Greater Manchester and across the country, and 2022 is set to be no different.
To ensure the safety of all who attend, GMP has said it will ensure an ‘increased visibility of officers’, with additional neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs on duty.
There’ll also be plain-clothed officers and firearms officers, and drones will be used as ‘eyes across the city centre’.
GMP said that Project Servator will be in effect, which ‘involves unpredictable, highly visible police deployments, involving a broad range of assets including specially trained officers, supported by community engagement and communications to help disrupt hostile reconnaissance and criminality whilst reassuring and engaging the public’.
Sergeant Lee Keefe, GMP’s Project Servator coordinator said: “We would like to reassure the public that GMP will be closely monitoring Manchester city centre throughout the festive period. Our security plans are in place for the Christmas markets and visitors can expect to see lots of police across the city centre as safety is our main priority.
“There will be a mixture of highly visible activities such as officers on the streets, including firearms officers, our police dogs and horses, along with more covert operations such as plain-clothes officers and use of drones, CCTV and ANPR cameras to be our eyes across the city centre.
“We will be working alongside our partners and local businesses to ensure we utilise stewards, market staff and the general public to report anything suspicious to an officer.
“The safety and security of all those attending and involved in the markets is a priority for us over the coming weeks and I’d like to reassure the public that Manchester is a safe place to come and enjoy the festivities.”
Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: “We want everyone who comes to the Christmas Markets in Manchester to have the very best time possible and to feel safe whilst they’re here with us.
“Our partners at GMP do a great job of helping make sure our world-famous markets are a safe place for everyone to visit and we very much value the measures – both seen and unseen – that they put in place every day, all day, at the markets to make sure they are.”
People are reminded that you can report anything suspicious to GMP via 101, or by using LiveChat, and always dial 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, you can make a report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Elf the Musical is coming to Manchester for a massive Christmas arena show – promising affordable tickets for families
Elf the Musical has announced a huge arena tour of the UK this Christmas, including THREE massive shows in Manchester.
The musical, based on the festive favourite film, will be stopping off at the AO Arena just before Christmas, before heading on to arenas in Leeds, Newcastle and Brighton.
The blockbuster film stars Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, a human raised by Santa Claus and his elves, who travels to New York City to find his real father – with hilarious and heartwarming consequences.
The Hollywood hit was turned into Elf the Musical, a supersized live arena spectacular with a mobile stage that travels the auditorium and a massive main stage with film backdrops on a huge LED screen.
Audiences can expect everything from an audience snowball fight to an indoor snowstorm, as well as witnessing Santa’s flying sleigh, following a giant candy cane journey from the North Pole.
Aerial cirque artists will bring all of the action to life as part of a huge cast of performers.
Elf the Musical promises to be the biggest live Christmas show in the UK when it tours this winter.
West End star Steven Serlin will be stepping into the lead role of Buddy the Elf, with other cast members including Birds of a Feather actor Charlie Quirke (as Buddy’s NYC pal), Charlotte Hall (as love interest Jovie), and Barry Bloxham (as Buddy’s dad).
The original score has been written by Matt Sklar and Chad Beguelin and has already delighted audiences on Broadway and the West End.
Producer and director Jon Conway says: “This is the fourth year we have presented this epic version of the Broadway and Hollywood hit as part of the World’s Biggest Pantomime brand.
“Elf is always one of the most popular Christmas films and ‘Buddy The Elf’ a truly iconic character. We are returning to some venues and have made the show even bigger and better with new features to make it a really thrilling experience.
“We are keenly aware of the economic climate and are one of the few shows to have reduced our prices from Elf’s last visit for an affordable family outing!
“One of the best sights is the audiences dressing up for the show, especially the dads in elf Christmas sweaters! This is an unmissable Xmas treat.”
Elf the Musical will be at the AO Arena with two shows on 23 December (12pm and 4pm) and another on 24 December at 10am. Tickets are on pre-sale now at Ticketmaster.
Featured image: Publicity picture
Manchester City Council confirm New Year’s Eve party at Piccadilly Gardens – but there’ll be no fireworks
Manchester WILL have a New Year’s Eve countdown party, but rising costs will mean there’s no fireworks again this year.
Manchester City Council has today confirmed its plans for New Year’s Eve in the city centre.
The platform splits into two areas, a bar space and a family-friendly, zero-alcohol viewing platform.
The evening will consist of DJ sets and a countdown to midnight displayed on a big screen.
In previous years, the Council has arranged a huge fireworks display, previously at the Town Hall but in more recent years at the Cathedral.
But this year they say they ‘simply cannot justify’ the expense when budgets are stretched so thin.
Instead, the council plans to use its limited resources for free community events year-round, like the recent Christmas Parade.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “We know that New Year’s Eve is a special night – one that everyone looks forward to – and we are all disappointed that we can’t go ahead with our usual fireworks this year.
“Unfortunately, we simply cannot justify the increasing costs of putting on a big display while also worrying about funding essential Council services.
“We believe that we should use the limited funding we have to put on free events in communities throughout the year and we look forward to seeing more of this in the coming months.