I Love MCR

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Walking through Manchester city centre this weekend, it was hard to avoid the damage caused by last week’s riots. A burnt-out Miss Selfridge, a boarded up mobile phone shop, multiple smashed windows – it really was heartbreaking to see. But a cheering sight made me smile as I entered the Arndale Centre – hundreds upon hundreds of brightly coloured post-it notes adorned a wall by the main entrance, with each one having a message of support for the city written on it.

Manchester is a great city! I <3 it!” read one. “Don’t attack our beautiful city!” said another.

It was heartening to see and made me proud to be a Manchester resident.

And it seems I’m not the only one feeling this way. An ‘I Love MCR’ Facebook page, set up by Manchester Marketing and Manchester Arndale in the aftermath of last week’s disturbances, has already gained 3,500 Fans. A ‘We Love MCR Day’ is also planned for 26 August.

Today it’s been announced that as part of the ‘I Love MCR’ campaign, people wanting to show their love for the city will be able to benefit from free parking and Metrolink travel in the days ahead. City centre car parks will be offering complimentary evening parking and Greater Manchester trams will also be free this Sunday.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, recently said he hoped to see thousands more people join the I Love MCR campaign and “show the world what real Mancunians look like”. Even as an honorary Manc, I for one will be showing my support.