Manchester’s world-famous Christmas Markets return this week and an army of staff and volunteers representing a range of organisations will be on-hand to help visitors find their way.
Christmas heroes will keep Manchester open for business this festive season
Manchester City Council, in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester, Marketing Manchester and CityCo, will have a way-finding team made up of volunteers, the Heart of Manchester Business Improvement District’s team of City Hosts and customer service staff stationed across the city – from Metrolink stops through to the high street and the Christmas Markets.
The city centre is currently undergoing a major transformation that is improving access and journey times across the city in the long-term – including the Second City Crossing and the Bus Priority Package – but in the short-term visitors are urged to plans their journey in advance and allow more time to travel around the city.
Over the next three years, Manchester is being redesigned into a world class, 21st century city that is a sustainable, thriving and exciting place for everyone who lives, works, studies or visits here.
Whilst all the work is taking place everything is open as usual - as well as all the Christmas festivities including the famous Manchester Christmas Markets, the shops, theatres, cafes, galleries and all the other attractions the city has to offer.
For the meantime, an embargo on non-emergency roadworks has been put in place across the city centre to help congestion over the busy Christmas period. Metrolink’s Second City Crossing works on Cross Street will remain in place to meet the build programme.
The first phase of the Second City Crossing will be complete in December, which will allow passengers to travel through Victoria to Exchange Square for the first time.
A map of the Christmas Markets is also available that gives visitors the best walking route through the attraction.
Download your version here: www.manchester.gov.uk/christmasmarkets
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas Spokesperson, said: “Clearly there is some disruption in the city centre at the moment, but that won’t stop us from celebrating the Christmas season in true Mancunian fashion. The Christmas Markets will be bigger than ever before and to make sure visitors make the most of their visit, our volunteer elves will be dotted across the city centre to make sure everyone’s visit to Manchester is the best Christmas present they receive this year.”
Jane Sharrocks, Heart of Manchester Business Improvement District Chair and General Manager of Selfridges Exchange Square, said: "It’s great to see a coordinated effort by the city centre in welcoming and assisting the millions of people expected to visit Manchester in the run-up to Christmas. As retailers we pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and the way-finding team will extend this beyond our stores and onto the city’s streets, helping people navigate their way effectively around the city centre and ensuring visitors to Manchester have the best possible experience."
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “There is no such thing as a quiet weekend in Manchester, but the festive period is clearly the busiest time of the year for the city. We’re working hard to make travel easier, but with a lot of activity taking place it’s important for visitors to plan their travel in advance – so they can concentrate on having a fantastic time when they’re here.”