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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 February, 2005, 10:52 GMT
City's big wheel closes to public
The big wheel
The 60m-high wheel is lit by 51,000 light bulbs
A 42-carriage observation wheel that has towered over Manchester city centre since last October closes to the public on Saturday.

The 60m (196ft) wheel, similar to the London Eye, was built in Exchange Square for tourists and shoppers to get a birds eye view of the region.

Engineers will work round the clock to dismantle the attraction on Sunday.

The wheel's next destination has not yet been decided but it could return to Manchester later in the year.

The wheel, which is lit by 51,000 light bulbs, towered above the city's Urbis museum, offering views for miles.

Jonathan Shipley, director of the wheel's owners, World Tourist Attractions (WTA), says he is "delighted" with the response to the ride.

"The wheel has been a great success in Manchester. It has been a fantastic addition to the Manchester skyline."

Manchester City Council are currently in talks with WTA about the possibility of bringing the wheel back to the city.

The attraction was in Paris for two years and features a "VIP gondola", designed for President Jacques Chirac.

The special carriage comes complete with leather seats, carpets, a fridge and telephone.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch the big wheel being built in Manchester



SEE ALSO:
Big wheel reopens after protest
13 Dec 04 |  Manchester
City's big wheel opens to public
26 Oct 04 |  Manchester
Big wheel gives sky views of city
04 Oct 04 |  Manchester
Birmingham Eye opens to public
06 Nov 03 |  West Midlands


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