For anyone out and about in Manchester this New Year’s Eve, fireworks will be let off in the city centre to mark the stroke of midnight and to welcome in 2009.
Responding to public demand, Manchester City Council will provide a 10-minute fireworks display, which will be best seen by the big wheel in Exchange Square.
This is the first time that any sort of official New Year celebration will be held in the city centre since the millennium and the fireworks will be launched from the Manchester Arndale roof.
Councillor Pat Karney, City Centre Spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: "We have taken on board the thoughts of local people and will be letting off fireworks to celebrate the start of the New Year. Most people will be at parties or in pubs and clubs but for those who do wish to come outside at midnight, they can make their way down to Exchange Square for the countdown before the fireworks are released on the stroke of twelve."
The fireworks are sponsored by World Tourist Attractions who operate the popular Manchester Wheel, which will be operating throughout the New Year's celebrations until 2am.
John Lowry, Senior Operations Manager for the Manchester Wheel said: "We're really excited about the celebrations and it's fantastic that we have all been able to work together to mark new year in the city."
In compliance with the alcohol by-law, no drink will be permitted in the viewing site and roads in the area will be temporarily closed for the duration of the fireworks display.
Chief Inspector Chris Hill from Greater Manchester Police said: " GMP look forward to welcoming in 2009 with a fireworks display fit for an exciting and vibrant city. We would ask that if you are thinking of attending Exchange Square to view the fireworks, you arrive early and respect the no alcohol policy that is in place there and throughout the city centre. This is an extremely busy night for GMP and our colleagues in the ambulance and fire service so we ask that you drink sensibly and start 2009 with a bang and not a headache"
Claire Keegan, Press Office, tel: 0161 234 4014