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Manchester’s ‘first public city centre park’ to open this week

The park has been in the works for the last six years

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Mayfield Park

Manchester’s first city centre park in over 100 years is set to open to the public this week.

Over the last eighteen months, the derelict space next to Piccadilly Station has been transformed into Mayfield Park, a stunning, accessible and varied green space for everyone to enjoy.

The planning, design and delivery of the park has been in the works for over six years, with it receiving £23m of investment from the government’s Getting Building Fund in 2020.

This investment, delivered through the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), is part of the Government’s strategy to support ‘shovel ready’ schemes that will help to drive economic recovery following the Covid pandemic.

Martin Moss

And this Thursday (September 22nd), Mayfield Park’s main entrance on Baring Street will officially open to the public.

The park will then be open seven days a week from dawn until dusk, providing local residents, visitors and communities across Manchester with a ‘city centre oasis of green space and beautifully landscaped river walkways’.

Martyn Evans, Creative Director at U+I, the regeneration company leading the Mayfield development on behalf of the Mayfield Partnership, described the opening as a ‘momentous day for Mayfield and for Manchester’.

He said: “The greatest cities in the world offer a true blend of amazing culture, great architecture and green space. Manchester is one such city and Mayfield Park adds a significant piece of new, family-friendly, inclusive green space to the city centre.

Martin Moss

“It’s been a true team effort with our project team and our partners at Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and LCR working closely with local building contractors PP O’Connor to deliver the park.

“We are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and we’re excited to welcome our first visitors on 22nd September.”

The leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Bev Craig, added: “It’s with excitement then that we can look ahead to the official opening of the city centre’s first public park in 100 years later this week.

“We know the massive health and well-being benefits that green spaces can have for our residents and increasing access to parks for our residents is a key priority for us. Mayfield will be a 6.5 acre oasis at the heart of our city.

Mayfield Park

“Green investment is fundamental to our wider ambitions to improve air quality and underpins our work to strengthen Manchester’s resilience to climate change.

“Mayfield is a park first and foremost, but it is also a statement that development in the city can and should celebrate green spaces to become a focal point in our communities.

“Importantly, Mayfield also represents a significant economic boost for Manchester. The partnership has shopped local when procuring contractors to make sure that employment opportunities have benefited local companies and local people first.

“During the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, it’s this type of development that provides the jobs that our residents need – and makes sure Manchester people continue to share in the success of our city.”

Mayfield Park will open to the public on Thursday September 22nd at 12:30pm. For more information, visit the Mayfield website.

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Chester Zoo launches spooky Halloween trail with dragons, spiders and snakes

Guests will be tasked with identifying a ‘magic word’ hidden across the indoor trail

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Chester Zoo has unveiled its first ever immersive Halloween-themed trail complete with dragons, spiders and snakes.

Luna’s Lost Spell Halloween Trail will take place at the conservation zoo from October 1st – October 31st, and will give guests the chance to learn about a variety of ‘sinister’ species with six animal stations.

Along the indoor trail, visitors will encounter the formidable Komodo dragon, gaboon viper,
poison dart frogs, blue Komodo viper, tarantula and the eerie upside-down jellyfish.

Each animal station will boast spellbinding facts about these hair-raising species, all of which will contain a secret letter.

Chester Zoo

Using augmented reality, visitors will be tasked with identifying and collecting these letters to form a ‘magic word’. Each letter will be revealed through a QR code with a fun and interactive experience before being stamped on a virtual postcard.

Those who can crack the code and figure out the magic word will be rewarded with a sweet treat.

Gemma Bamford, Chester Zoo’s Admissions and Membership Manager, said: We’re so excited to launch our very own Halloween themed trail around the zoo this October.

“As well as learning cool facts about animals around six locations in the zoo, guests can collect a letter at each area that spells out a secret word. Once visitors uncover ‘Luna’s lost spell’ they can head to the apothecary at the zoo entrance for a sweet treat.

Chester Zoo

“Halloween is the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the unknown species Chester Zoo is home to, inspiring visitors to care for our cause of preventing extinction of not only the renowned species like elephants, giraffes and rhinos, but the more unusual and extraordinary animals that may just shock, surprise or spook you!”

The trail will be completely free to take part in, and will take around two hours to complete.

The theme of the trail is linked to the BIAZA Vital Venom and Practical Poisons campaign which aims to raise awareness of the ‘cool, perhaps creepy, but crucial creatures venomous and poisonous’.

Throughout October, Chester Zoo will also be running a Halloween-themed bus tour where guests are driven to each of the six locations on the trail before the zoo opens.

Chester Zoo

The bus will also make a stop at the Fruit Bat Forest, giving guests the rare opportunity to see the bats before the lights go down.

Luna’s Lost Spell Halloween Trail will take place at Chester Zoo from October 1st – October 31st.

Entry to the trail is free, though slots will need to be booked in advance.

For more information and to book your tickets, visit the Chester Zoo website.

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There’s a FREE ’80s disco night with cocktails and live music coming to Manchester

Live DJs will be spinning classic anthems from the 1980s across the night

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Prestwich Social

The disco night to trump all disco nights is coming to Manchester this weekend with the promise of cocktails, dancing, and some good old fashioned nostalgia.

Prestwich Social will be bringing a taste of the ’80s to the popular Manchester suburb, which was recently named as one of the best places to live in the whole of the UK.

The 350-capacity bar and restaurant is nestled within the heart of Prestwich, and has become a firm favourite among locals thanks to its varied food menu, tempting deals and expansive list of unique and quirky cocktails.

Prestwich Social

And now, Prestwich Social has unveiled its brand new Social 54 ’80s Party Night, which will take place every Saturday night from 9:30pm til late.

The event is completely free to attend, and will include live DJs spinning classic anthems from the 1980s and a whole array of ’80s-themed cocktails, such as a boozy Ghostbusters-centric drink complete with sparklers, marshmallows and, of course, a giant figurine of the famous Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. 

Fancy dress is also encouraged, with free wigs, glasses and visors straight from the legendary nightclub era available to use and try on throughout the night. 

Prestwich Social is the only late-night bar in the neighbourhood, so the Social 54 ’80s Party Night is certain to be an evening to remember.

The first event is set to take place this Saturday (October 1st) from 9:30pm til late with free entry all night long.

Walk-ins are welcome, but to book a table, visit the Prestwich Social website.

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Victoria Baths to be transformed into night market with street food and live music

As well as over 100 local vendors, there will be an array of tasty street food and live entertainment across the evening

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The Night Market & Victoria Baths

Manchester’s historic Victoria Baths is set to be transformed into a magical night market with over 100 independent vendors, street food and live music.

The Night Market will be taking over the iconic building next month to showcase the very best talent Manchester’s local business scene has to offer.

There will be everything any passionate shopper could hope for, varying from artisans, artists, jewellers, designers, bakers and candlestick makers.

@victoriabaths / Instagram

Also in attendance will be an outdoor street food village for hungry shoppers, complete with numerous themed bars and a ‘Vintage Pool Party’ filled with vintage treasures with a live DJ.

And this year there will be The Turkish Rest Room Salons, which will see three of Manchester’s most exciting singer-songwriters – Dilettante, Anna McLuckie and Ellen Beth Abdi – transform the exquisite Turkish Rest Room into a performance space.

This unique concert venue promises to be a ‘hidden delight and an oasis of calm within the bustling market’, and has been handed over to the artists themselves, who will each ‘own the room’ for their one hour concert set.

The Night Market

The Night Market will be taking over Victoria Baths on Friday October 7th from 7pm til late.

Early Bird tickets are £6, though two can be bought on offer for £10. There is also the option to purchase a Night Owl ticket for £4 for those planning on arriving later in the evening.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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