Offenders restore Manchester’s Chinatown

The Chinese pagoda on the corner of Nicholas Street and Faulkner Street in Manchester city centre's Chinatown and surrounding area is being restored.

The work involves the wooden structure, which provides sheltered seating, being repainted red and green and 15 benches and the oriental-style fencing around the adjacent car park being painted as well as some of the fence panels replaced.

Lisa Liu, a member of ManchesterThe project cost was just over £2,000 and funded jointly by Manchester City Council and CityCo, the council's management company.

The work is being undertaken by offenders completing Community Payback, which is supervised by Greater Manchester Probation Trust and enables unpaid work to be done by offenders.

Also the undergrowth is being cleared, weeds removed and oriental-looking plants including Japanese Maples and Fan Palms will replace the old shrubbery. Residents from Chinatown will take part in a planting day next week.

Gary Ellis, operations director at CityCo, said: "This work is part of the City's on-going commitment to the Chinese community in Manchester. The pagoda is a popular meeting place for Chinese elders and we felt it was time to give it a much-needed lick of paint and tidy-up the surrounding area. Working with Manchester City Council and the Greater Manchester Probation Trust we're able to do this."

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Good to see something really positive being done with these offenders. I can think of dozens of other places which could be improved in the same way.

By Ian Jones

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