Manchester City Council has arranged plans to mark the “poignant” anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack.
Monday 22 May 2023 marks the sixth anniversary of the terror attack which saw 22 people tragically lose their lives, and left thousands more injured and affected, during a bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena back in 2017.
Every year, the city of Manchester comes together and joins the rest of the world in marking the day and remembering those who went to a concert and never returned home.
Manchester City Council has confirmed how the city plans to mark the day, revealing that the focal point for this year’s personal remembrance and reflection will be the Glade of Light memorial – which was officially opened last May by the now Prince and Princess of Wales ahead of the fifth anniversary.
Civic representatives from the city will lay floral tributes to those who lost their lives, and will also take a moment to remember all who were injured or otherwise affected.
Annual cleaning and maintenance work to the memorial has taken place to ensure “it looks its best for anyone who wishes to mark the anniversary” – with the marble halo set to be temporarily fenced-off while these works take place.
Two one-minute silences will take place at Manchester Victoria Station during the day – at 12pm and 22:31pm – which is the exact anniversary time of the attack.
Candles will also be available for people to light.
The names of those who lost their lives will also be read out during services at Manchester Cathedral on at 9am (Morning Prayers), 1:10pm (Holy Communion), and 5:30pm (Choral Evensong), and the cathedral will also remain open throughout the day for those who wish to light a candle or pray.
Speaking ahead of the anniversary, Cllr Bev Craig – Leader of Manchester City Council – said: “It’s hard to believe six years has passed since the terrible events of 22 May 2017 and our hearts continue to go out those who lost their lives, their loved ones, those who were injured and everyone still dealing in some way with the legacy of that day.
Officers have been carrying out searches of people arriving on site this week – and have already arrested a 24-year-old man.
A quantity of pills and a knife were both recovered from the man, who has been arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs and possession of a bladed article.
After the arrest, Superintendent Phil Spurgeon issued a statement to criminals, saying ‘don’t bother coming to Parklife’.
He said: “We have a really robust police and partnership community safety operation for the festival, and the arrest and seizure yesterday demonstrates the vigilance of security staff, our thorough search procedures and our commitment to keeping people safe.
“Make no mistake, illegal items such as weapons and drugs can have fatal consequences. Our top priority this weekend is keeping people safe, and anyone caught trying to take such items into the festival will be robustly dealt with.
“I hope the genuine festival-goers are excited for the fantastic weekend ahead and I am confident the majority will enjoy the event responsibly and safely.”
Greater Manchester Police and Parklife security staff will be working closely together to intercept anyone travelling to the festival with criminal intentions.
The arrest on 8 June was thanks to the festival’s drug detection dogs.
In a formal statement addressing the situation, the city‘s flagship further education institution says some of its systems have been accessed by an “unauthorised party” and that data has “likely been copied” as a result of this.
The University’s in-house experts are said to be “working around the clock” to resolve the issue.
External support teams are also said to be working in collaboration with the University to understand what data has been accessed.
Patrick Hackett – Registrar, Secretary, and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Manchester – explained in a statement issued this morning: “Regrettably, I have to share with you the news that the University is the victim of a cyber incident, [as] it has been confirmed that some of our systems have been accessed by an unauthorised party and data have likely been copied.
“Our in-house experts and established expert external support are working around the clock to resolve this incident, and we are working to understand what data has been accessed”.
Mr Hackett said he understands the nature of the issue will “cause concern to members of our community”, and says the University is “very sorry for this”.
The University says it is also working with relevant authorities – including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the National Crime Agency, and other regulatory bodies – to resolve the issue, and will provide information to those affected as soon as they are able to.
Students and staff are also be told to be vigilant to any suspicious phishing emails within the coming days – with the University’s IT Services team having published some relevant advice to refer to.