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7th November 2023

Manchester Christmas lights switch-on event cancelled for fourth consecutive year

Ongoing development and lack of a suitable location has impacted the council’s decision
Manchester Christmas lights switch-on event cancelled for fourth consecutive year

2023’s Christmas lights switch-on event has been called off for another year by Manchester City Council.

The switch-on event hasn’t been held since 2019 when it was first cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision reiterates the reasons given in 2022, including ongoing development in the city centre and the unavailability of a safe and appropriate location.

Sean, a second-year student at the University of Manchester, stated, “[i]t is disappointing that it has been cancelled for yet another year, especially with what’s happened with Covid in recent years”.
The cancellation of the Christmas lights switch-on event follows the city council’s decision to also cancel Bonfire night events in parks this year.

Councillor Pat Karney stated, “[u]nfortunately, because of the ongoing development in the city centre, we remain without a suitable location to put on an event of that size – which attracts around 20,000 people. Without a venue to do this safely, we simply couldn’t justify putting on that type of event.”

Karney further went on to say “Christmas in Manchester has felt a little different in recent years, but we promise this year will be no less magical.”

Other towns and cities across the UK have made similar decisions. Medway towns will not have Christmas lights this year “due to the challenging financial situation” of the council.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has also cancelled their Christmas lights, which is expected to save £51,000.

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