Manchester’s Exchange Square is being lined up to host an 80-metre-high viewing platform as the city seeks to fill the gap left by the cancellation of its Christmas markets.
An application has been lodged with the city council for Skyview360 Manchester, a temporary 74m structure and surrounding infrastructure to be installed at Exchange Square, a part of the city centre that has previously housed attractions such as seasonal big wheel rides.
The intention is for the attraction to operate between 2 December and 4 January.
Nottingham-based Mellors Events Group is the firm promoting the plan, and would be responsible for constructing and operating the attraction. The business said that the site has been designed to encourage social distancing and ensure adequate bi-directional crowd-flow for those visiting other attractions and shops in the area, or using it as a thoroughfare.
Edward Mellors, director of the company, said: “We have been working tirelessly for months with Manchester City Council on Covid-secure plans for Skyview 360. We feel cautiously optimistic that Skyview360 Manchester will be a welcome attraction post-lockdown over Christmas if given final approval.
“Our 80m tower will be a beacon of light showing that Manchester is open for business.”
Manchester City Council spokesman Cllr Pat Karney urged caution, stating: “We have been working on proposals to bring a new festive attraction to the city this year following the announcement that the Christmas Markets would not go ahead.
“A planning application was submitted by the operator some weeks ago, but the current national lockdown has – for now – paused the plans.
“We have great hopes that we can still welcome the SkyView360 attraction to Manchester over the festive season – but, of course, the safety of Manchester people comes first and we must be guided by public health. So watch this space.”
The attraction is designed by Dutch firm Stemar and has operated in high-profile locations such as Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and other temporary events around the world.