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Council Splash Out On New Festive Lighting

Town Hall and Piccadilly Gardens to glimmer and new world-first ‘City Lightways’ trialled on King St

Written by . Published on November 8th 2013.

Council Splash Out On New Festive Lighting

MANCHESTER’S Town Hall and Piccadilly Gardens are to be illuminated for the first time over the festive period whilst the city will get a preview of the brand new ‘City Lightways’ system to be trialled on King Street.

the new system is created by suspending free-flowing fibre optic cables held aloft above the city, propelling beams and colour-changing pulses of light along the streets and above the heads of city centre visitors.

Council bosses hope to dazzle the crowds at the Manchester Christmas light switch-on (7pm Friday 8 November) event in Albert Square as the Town Hall is illuminated by 64 high-output multi-colour changing LED units with another 20 units aimed at the clock tower faces and spire.

Whilst over in Piccadilly Gardens, 360 energy efficient colour changing LED luminaires will shoot through the dancing jets of the Piccadilly Fountains over the festive period.

Perhaps more intriguing, however, is the introduction of the world-first ‘City Lightways’ fibre-optic cable system (main picture) to be trialled on King Street with the intention, all going well, of extending the new system for up to 2km around the city centre over the coming few weeks.

“The beauty of this new system”, said a Council spokesperson, “is that it is arranged in a grid pattern so it’s relatively quick and easy to install a new section and simple click it in to place. This has never been done anywhere before.”

Town Hall uplighting for the 2013 festive periodTown Hall uplighting for the 2013 festive period

Designed by Manchester-based Walker Simpson Architects, the new system is created by suspending free-flowing fibre optic cables held aloft above the city, propelling beams and colour-changing pulses of light along the streets and above the heads of city centre visitors.

It is hoped that the ‘City Lightways’ system will become a permanent fixture across the city centre, brought into use during other key events.

John Walker of Walker Simpson Architects, said: “The brief was to challenge conventional thinking around Christmas lighting and reimagine not just how we can light the city at Christmas but at other key times of the year - as well creating a platform that can tie in to the digital and future lighting strategies for the city.

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “Manchester will have some of the most innovative lighting in the UK, beginning with the illumination of the iconic town hall and the Piccadilly fountain, while King Street will preview the new City Lightways system that will be expanded throughout the city – not just a world first, but a galaxy first.”

Tad hyperbolic there Pat but here at Confidential we’re keen to see the 'City Lightways' King Street trial - Anything to inject a spot of life and light into the street.

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

rinkydinkNovember 8th 2013.

About time something got done about the Christmas lights. They have been shockingly poor for the past few years

JanusxxxNovember 8th 2013.

Where's the money coming from ?

1 Response: Reply To This...
rinkydinkNovember 9th 2013.

Council tax I would imagine? And rightly so. I pay my council tax and would like to see decent Christmas lighting in town at Christmas. This is virtually the only value I seem to get out of paying it! And it is important. Please don't bleat on about job cuts. The town hall's pay roll has been inflated for too long and needed to be trimmed

JanusxxxNovember 9th 2013.

I actually don't mind the money spent on lights actually, I just want to know where the money has come from which I think is a fair question and in response to the job cuts, I re read my former post and I never mentioned job cuts and so I am not"bleating" about job cuts! Everyone that has left the employment of mcr cc has done so voluntarily so far so far as is publicly known and As far as I know this is the case for all the councils in greater Manchester. But each year our government gives each council less money to manage its services so cuts are inevitable, so with less money I was curious if there's another place councils can get funding for stuff like this from as councils cannot fund what they currently run ? And certainly for the majority of council workers in all councils, they do not have overinflated payrolls or If they do they don't hand it out to the majority of council staff. Regards, Tameside employee at the pension fund(GMPF), also a Manchester cc resident.

1 Response: Reply To This...
rinkydinkNovember 9th 2013.

Council tax. It is fair to cut jobs if you have an inflafed workforce and simultaneously spend more money on lights to attract business into town. Similar to spending less on booze if you want a new skirt

Alex ClareNovember 10th 2013.

The Christmas lights are the worst they've ever been. There are NONE along Oxford road anymore, none on Portland street and princess road. No overhead lights on cross street anymore and the same for Deansgate. For a city that is claiming to be the UKs Christmas capital, this is a joke!! I'm ashamed of the lights if I bring any visitors to the city. And, the 'world first' lightways above King street are AWFUL. they look awful at night and even worse in the day. Complete eyesore. Manchester city council, you should be hanging your heads in shame right now!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 3rd 2013.

Absloutely right about King Street. My primary school disco had better lighting. It's like a Tandy rope light from 1978. And are the Picc fountain "luminaires" working yet? They weren't on Sunday. Well they were, but the fenced off fountains weren't. It's hardly the Bellagio.

Jonathan MoranNovember 11th 2013.

Another fine mess Pat Karney has got us into!

JanusxxxNovember 12th 2013.

The councils work forces are not inflated, the jobs are cut because the government steadily year on year give the councils less money to manage their services. So inevitably jobs will be cut and whole departments get sold off to the private sector. This is not a rumour, it is a fact and lots of council services have already been sold off. I.E. All of Manchester's housing is now run privately. I suspect social services will eventually all be sold off. It's not inflated, the councils do not get enough money to run the services.

rinkydinkNovember 15th 2013.

The government give the councils less because they are trying to borrow less from stock market investors. If they don't cut back their lenders will charge them more interest. If this happens mortgages will go up and everyone will suffer and people may lose their houses. The government do not want this. Ane neither do most people I would imagine

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