Viewing platform proposed for Manchester

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.

Skyview 2 NIGHT

The viewing platform in a previous location

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.

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I’m not a big fan of fairground rides but I reckon I Could cope with this. It’s adds some much needed light. Yes I think they should crack on with this.

By Robert Fuller

It would be great to see a viewing tower/bar/restaurant delivered… similar to Berlin! Renaker??

By The Old Faithful

Interesting, and interested in giving it a go. However, I may not be very good at maths, but how does a 74m structure enable a viewing platform to be 80m high?

By Anon

A good idea. I will give it a whirl. It adds some light and life to the centre.

By Robert Fuller

I’m not a big fan of this. It’s a small, low, temporary tower that has little architectural merit. As mentioned in another comment here, it’s effectively a fairground attraction. While other cities (like Berlin mentioned earlier) built high, stunning, permanent towers, our option is one that just stands just for a couple of months (during the darkest, wettest days where visibility is probably at its lowest) and is not even very high.

Of course, logic is that real towers like those in Berlin, Sydney, Toronto, Seattle etc are not as viable today as they used to be. Those towers were built with three main things in mind, Communication, Observation and Civic/National Pride. Communication was the real financial reason as they held telecommunication equipment that isn’t really used today. Berlin’s tower was a perfect example of national pride, being built to be seen in West Berlin, and Auckland and Sydney’s were about civic pride – pride that costs a lot of money. While the observation use is the most popular from a human’s perspective, will it bring in enough money to cover the costs without the communication aspect?


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