Updated: Saturday, 16th December 2017 @ 8:17am

Workers swap suits for boots to keep Manchester city centre sparkling

Workers swap suits for boots to keep Manchester city centre sparkling

Manchester business people swapped suits for boots this week in a bid to help clean the city centre. 

A team of around 45 volunteers, coordinated by the management company CityCo, headed to Piccadilly Gardens and carried out activities including weeding, jet washing, litter picking and cleaning the fountains.

And they were a little bit surprised by some of the items they discovered!

“We found a pair of false teeth today which was nice,” joked Alexandra King, Partnership Director of CityCo and founder of the clean-up project.

Talking about the work done by CityCo and businesses in the city centre of Manchester, Ms King told Mancunian Matters: “We wanted the volunteering days to have a positive impact on the business community and the public realm to make sure people realise that everyone has a hand in keeping the place nice and clean.”

For expert advice and specialist equipment, the team have partnered with Biffa, a leading waste management company, who have the contract for the city centre cleaning.

 “Obviously this is a public space, you can’t just get a bowl of hot water and start scrubbing, you need to have a bit of professional guidance on what you’re doing.”

The small army of high visibility jackets turned heads in Piccadilly Gardens and Ms King explained how people are naturally inquisitive about what the team is doing.

“99% of people are positive about it because they know the public purse is really tight and we have to prioritise what the money is spent on.”

But Ms King described how not everyone is so appreciative of their work.

“Everyone has an opinion on how you should spend your time.

“In Piccadilly Gardens we have the City Council and Community Police Officers and someone will say they should be doing anything else. You have to take their comments with a pinch of salt.”

In a busy and compact city centre such as Manchester, public sector cuts have resulted in tough decisions about where to spend money.

“If the business community can come in and do things that alleviate the pressure just a little bit, I think that’s really good.”

The team meet once every quarter and have their buckets and sponges ready for St Anne’s Square next.