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A dramatic make over is taking place in Manchester in time for the ...
A dramatic make over is taking place in Manchester in time for the

Commonwealth Games.

Work is under way to decorate the city with an extravaganza of flowers,

banners and bunting. Local residents and visitors to Manchester will be

treated to beautiful floral displays and stunning, visual spectacles to

enhance the Games experience.

Manchester City Council has been working in close partnership with

Manchester 2002 and others to ensure that both the look of the city and the

Games venues promote Manchester's image as an attractive, vibrant

international city.

Among some of the most impressive sights will be a four-metre aluminium

sculpture, depicting the now familiar three-figure Games emblem, erected

over the main entrance arch of Manchester Town Hall.

The three-figure Games logo will also be represented by giant, moving,

inflatable figures in Piccadilly Gardens and Exchange Square.

Manchester Town Hall will be illuminated in the Games colours of red, blue,

green and yellow, while Albert Square will be decorated with flowers,

banners and coloured wraps around bins and benches.

Council gardeners are planting 180,000 seedlings to provide a riot of

colour in the city centre and along major arterial routes into East

Manchester. They will be displayed in hanging baskets, four-tiered

planters and flower beds.

A total of 3,000 street lighting columns have been painted on the main

routes and banner arms have been erected to install more than 2000 Games

banners. Plants and banners will also decorate city centre streets and

Manchester's main festival squares. Eight topiary 'athletes' will stand in

Exchange Square.

As well as decorating the city, Manchester City Council officers are

working hard to ensure that all areas around Games venues, the city centre,

Athletes Village and major arterial routes are clean and well maintained.

Five environmental teams will be set up during Games time to deal with

cleansing issues such as litter, graffiti and fly posting removal.

A number of commercial and non-commercial building wraps, covering

development sites in East Manchester and the city centre have been

instigated by the city council. In addition, the City Centre Management

Company has encouraged over 800 city centre businesses to dress their

buildings and shops. A similar exercise has been undertaken in East


Early next week work will begin on unfurling the latest building wrap on

one of Manchester's tallest buildings, Sunley Tower in Piccadilly Gardens.

The 70-metre by 20-metre wrap will feature a photographic image of

record-breaking English triple jumper Ashia Hansen.

Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: 'We are

delighted to welcome the XVII Commonwealth Games to the city of Manchester

- a city where people are proud to live, work and invest.

'As the eyes of the world turn to Manchester from July 25 to August 4, we

will put on a show that leaves no-one in any doubt that Manchester enters

the 21st century as a European city of international excellence.'

Frances Done, chief executive of Manchester 2002, said: 'The Games is a

fantastic opportunity to showcase Manchester to the rest of the world. The

vibrant red, blue, green and yellow colours of the Games will help make the

city look stunning. Thanks to our host broadcaster, the BBC, images of

Manchester will be sent to over a billion viewers during Games time. It's

a great way of raising the city's profile on an international level.'

Gordon McKinnon, chief executive of Manchester City Centre Management

Company, said: 'There are going to be thousands of people descending on

Manchester this summer. The city will be featured all over the world in

magazines and newspapers and in hundreds of hours of television coverage.

'This is a fantastic opportunity for the city to pull together to ensure

that Manchester looks its best.'

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