Manchester City Council bosses have been trying to find a location for the Christmas lights switch-on that is both big enough and safe enough for all the families who attend every year.
However the sheer volume of construction work taking place around the city centre – like the ongoing restoration of the Town Hall and Albert Square – has ruled out a big event for the 2022 festive season.
While it will be a quieter start to the Christmas period this year, there are already plans in place for the ‘biggest and best ever switch-on event in Manchester’s history’ in 2024, when the Town Hall project is completed.
Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: “We’ve tried really hard to make a big Christmas lights switch-on event happen again this year after not being able to have one for the last couple of years, but despite our very best efforts this just isn’t going to be possible.
“Anyone who has been in the city centre recently can’t fail to have noticed all the development work going on to make Manchester even better than it already is, and as great as this is it does mean we’ve not got the space needed to safely manage a big switch-on event this year.
“The ongoing work to renovate the Town Hall rules out Albert Square, as does ongoing demolition and construction work at the end of Deansgate. Piccadilly Gardens unfortunately isn’t suitable in its current formation for a switch-on event, and after having a good look at safety and sightline issues we’ve also had to rule out St Peter’s Square as a site that is just too complex to manage to ensure a successful event that could be enjoyed by the thousands of people, including young children, who usually attend.
“We’re very well aware how much families enjoy the switch-on and what it means to them and are gutted that we can’t deliver an event this year for them.
“We will however definitely be back with a big switch-on event next year for them, followed by Manchester’s best ever Christmas switch-on event the year after that in 2024 when our wonderful Town Hall and Albert Square will be back in use again.
“In the meantime we’ve pulled out all the stops and have got some extra special Manchester Christmas magic in store this year to bring a sparkle to the city’s streets and put a smile on everyone’s faces.
“Watch this space for more announcements very soon on some absolutely not-to-be-missed free festive treats coming to Manchester this Christmas.”
The Council added in a statement: “Although there won’t be a big switch-on event this year, the city centre will still be dressed in its sparkly Christmas best with streetlights, lights in trees, and light installations throughout the city centre from Thursday 10 November when the Christmas Markets open.
“The exception to this is St Peter’s Square, which will host Remembrance Sunday events on Sunday 14 November, and will therefore not be lit for Christmas until the week beginning Monday 15 November to coincide with the welcome return of Father Christmas who will once again be taking up residence in front of Central Library for the duration of the festive season.”
Featured image: Manchester City Council
Architect video shows the progress of the ever-changing Greater Manchester skyline
A building planner and architecture firm’s new YouTube video shows the remarkable progress of Greater Manchester’s ever-changing skyline.
VU.CITY is a city-planning firm based out of London that specialises in building out 3D platforms which render both existing, developing and future structures.
Better yet, it shows a 3D visual representation of what they will look like in the coming months and years.
It’s even crazier to think what the trajectory of this video would have looked if you wound the clock back even by another 10 years.
As you can, not only has the company shown city’s skyline evolves over time, the company recently highlighted both central and Greater Manchester, highlighting the likes of Salford, Salford Quays and Stockport as they continue to grow.
While plenty of people have been understandably concerned over Manchester’s ever-changing skyline, especially post-2020’s Manctopia programme about the local property boom, the money these new-builds and developments have generated in the city cannot be denied.
Not only is Manchester one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe but two different towns in the region have been named among the best places to live in Britain over the past 12 months alone, but the city centre itself was named by Time Out as one of the best locations to visit anywhere in the UK.
It’s no wonder some of the happiest people in the country also live here, apparently.
Just lots of people telling us what we already know: Manchester is mint and thanks to its ever-changing skyline, it’s only looking more attractive to city types.
Popular London bakery Gail’s to open string of North West cafes next year
Popular craft bakery Gail’s has hinted at plans to open a string of new cafes in the North West next year.
The group, which already has a large number of bakery-cafes in the south of England, has announced it will open its first North West site in Wilmslow in early 2023.
Bosses have also said that ‘further locations in the North West’ will be announced in the new year, adding that all the new bakeries will serve GAIL’s artisan sourdough breads, pastries, sandwiches, and cakes alongside its specialty House Blend coffee.
The news also seems to potentially confirm speculation that the brand is planning a move into Manchester after The Manc shared news of potential plans for a Gail”s opening in the city centre in October.
Having already seen planning documents that suggest the chain is planning to take over the former White Stuff unit on King Street, it now appears that more news on that opening will be coming in 2023 – although it’s hard to say if it will be the first Manchester site to be announced.
The bakery group already has strong ties with Manchester, having run its sister wholesale bakery The Bread Factory in Openshaw since 2017.
Formed in the early 1990s by namesake Gail Mejia, Gail’s began when its eponymous founder decided to bring together the best bakers in London to create bakes for the capitals top chefs and restaurants.
Today, is known more as a customer-facing cafe and bakery whilst The Bread Factory continues the original wholesale legacy – supplying high quality, artisan breads to some of the region’s top local restaurants.
Gail’s first cafe opened on Hampstead High Street in 2005, and now the brand has 79 in neighbourhoods in and around London, Oxford, Brighton and more.
Turning back the clock on industrialised baking practices and moving to bake bread as it used to be baked: by hand, using quality ingredients and time-worn artisanal methods, Gail’s soon established a name for itself and has come a long way since those early days.
Still, the stuff that matters – the ethos, the suppliers, the skill and a handful of tried-and-tested sourdough starter cultures – hasn’t changed.
A champion for sustainability, the bakery also prides itself on minimising food waste by carefully setting aside any leftover food and donating it to a selection of local charities in each eatery’s neighbourhood