THUMBS UP… It seems not a week goes by without the Place team being sent a picture of Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson giving a thumbs up to something, and this week was no different. Anderson gave his digit of approval to the Victoria Street multi-storey car park, which opened on Monday, and proclaimed parking at the development will be free until Boxing Day. Instead of paying for parking, users can make a voluntary donation to the Mayor’s Hope Fund which supports disadvantaged families. The £6.5m car park, paid for by the council and built by Willmott Dixon, contains 333 spaces. Anderson said: “As we’re gearing up for Christmas I thought users would welcome a free week to give a little help with their shopping spend and give them the choice of supporting those less well off than themselves. The voluntary contribution option will remain after charges are introduced and the income from the car park will be re-invested into supporting council funded services.”
DRONING ON… If you’ve bought your kids – or, admit it, yourself – a drone for Christmas, have you boned up on the Civil Aviation Authority’s regulations? Manchester Airport this week issued a fresh warning to any drone users to learn the rules before taking to the air. The list is pretty extensive: you can’t fly a drone more than 400ft in the air; you can’t fly a drone with a camera within 50m of people; and it’s best to keep them away from airfields. To help, the air traffic services provider NATS has launched an online Christmas Drone Run game, which tests potential pilots’ flying ability. You’ll have plenty of time to practice your skills here before Christmas Day.
CHRISTMAS COMPLAINTS… Mancunians and Liverpudlians are among the biggest Christmas complainers on Twitter, according to research by electronics retailer Maplin. Apparently, one-in-five of the 100,000 tweets complaining about the festive season on the social media platform were from Manchester, while around 10% of complaints came from Liverpool. This was comfortably ahead of London, where only 6.7% of tweets were posted from. Typical Christmas grumbles were around overdoing the booze (19%), faulty gifts (14%), and disappointing TV (13%), while a further 5% of tweeters complained about running out of alcohol. Best stock up this weekend then.
COUNTING CRANES… Manchester will end the year with 51 cranes adorning its skyline, according to research by Urbinfo. This is nearly double the 27 cranes reported this time last year, but streets ahead of the mere three cranes in the city centre at the end of 2012. The figures include two cranes at McGoff’s Downtown development; four at Manchester University’s MECD; three at Carillion’s Angel Gardens, and two at Weavers Quay, being built by Graham in Ancoats for client Manchester Life. The city still has a way to go before it reaches the pre-recession high of 63 in 2005.
BRIGHT SPARK… This timelapse video showcases the construction of Manchester Science Partnership’s Bright Building. The 70,000 sq ft project, the first new-build on Manchester Science Park in 15 years, was delivered by contractor Marcus Worthington and designed by BDP. Around 20,000 sq ft of the ground floor is given over to events and communal space, while tenants already secured for the building include NorthWest EHealth, CityVerve, and Mi-IDEA. The building opened its doors in September 2017 after starting on site last year.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE… A concert lasting more than 378 hours, opened and closed by veteran space rockers Hawkwind, is being planned for Morecambe. Billed as ‘The Neverending Gig’, the event is being organised to break the world record for the longest-ever concert, set in Las Vegas in 2014. Led by poet and performer Matt Panesh, the concert aims to host more than 400 artists across 17 days from 2 April next year. For the gig is to meet world record rules, musicians must be playing around the clock, with no more than five minutes between acts and no more than 30 seconds between songs. Held at the town’s Alhambra & Carleton Suite on Marine Road West, tickets will cost £1 and all proceeds go towards community projects in the town.