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Wheelie good time in Exchange Square

Published on January 7th 2005.


We got a sneak preview of the big wheel in Exchange Square this week.
The Wheel of Manchester which has been taking shape in Exchange Square over the past two weeks and has now launched exciting tourists and residents alike.
World Tourist Attractions (WTA) is staging the launch in conjunction with its chosen charity the National Children’s Home (NCH). From 6.30 pm onwards, UV jugglers and fire eaters kept the crowds entertained as part of the countdown to the launch of the 60-metre wheel.
Around 30 children from NCH, along with other local children and their parents, were in attendance as well as representatives from WTA and Manchester City Council who have worked closely together in recent weeks to bring the brand new wheel to the City. WTA also presented a cheque for £1000 to the NCH during the evening.
The wheel is one of the world's largest transportable wheels and was brought in to Manchester in 24 containers. It has 51,000 bulbs, 42 gondolas ands weighs 300 tonnes. Standing 60 metres (180ft) high above Exchange Square, the wheel is held in place by almost 9000 gallons of water.
Jonathan Shipley, a director of World Tourist Attractions, said: “Tuesday evening’s launch party is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people to make it happen. We would like to pay special thanks to Manchester City Council for its assistance in helping it run so smoothly. The wheel is going to look fantastic against the Manchester skyline, both during the day and after dark. We look forward to welcoming people on Tuesday after 8pm and over the coming weeks and months."
Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Mark Hackett said, “Manchester City Council is delighted to bring this world famous attraction to our world-class city. Festive Manchester as an event has positively ‘snowballed’ in popularity - the European Markets and our fabulous Switch-on Show have become famous throughout the UK - but this new attraction will no doubt go down a storm and bring visitors from far and wide to Manchester this Christmas."
Ticket prices are £5 for adults, £4 for senior citizens and £3 for children.
Tim Gough

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