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Manchester must rebuild centre after bomb

THE heart of Manchesters shopping centre is set for a major revamp in the wake of the IRA bombing.

Parts of three major buildings the Arndale Centre, Marks & Spencer and Royal Insurance are unstable and will be pulled down.

According to city architect Bob King, the building owners are taking the opportunity to radically rethink the designs of the buildings.

He said: I am very impressed by the way the building owners are approaching the situation.

He said that where demolition was necessary they were taking the opportunity to rethink the design of the buildings.

And he liked the ideas they have come up with.

The damage extended over an area up to roughly 800 m from the bomb itself, but hundreds of workers have restored normality.

The priority has been to make the area safe and open up closed buildings. Mr King expects the task will be complete this week except for the most damaged structures.

The pedestrian bridge spanning the Arndale Centre and M&S has been taken down.

The bomb blast lifted it from its seating and dropped it about 250 mm from its original position. This bridge movement, combined with the blast, was largely responsible for the structural damage to the buildings.

Before the bridge could be lifted out it was stripped of cladding, flooring and fire protection to reduce its weight to about 90 tonnes.