Freedom of the City parade route in Manchester plus city centre road closures for Saturday 30 October 2021
An Army regiment is to receive the honour at a service in St Peter’s Square on Saturday.
Manchester City Council will be conferring the Honorary Freedom of the City to the 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103 Regiment Royal Artillery, in recognition of the long service to the city.
A ceremony will take place in St Peter’s Square at 11am on Saturday 30 October.
The ceremony will be followed by a military parade around the city centre, with colours flying, drums beating, and bayonets fixed.
The parade will leave St Peter’s Square, past the Cenotaph, then onto Princess Street, then Cross Street, onto St Mary’s Gate, Deansgate, Peter Street and finally left back to St Peter’s Square. The public are welcome to watch the regiment, whose connections to Manchester date back 216 years.
What is Freedom of the City?
The Freedom of the City has only been awarded six times this millennium - to The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (2006), broadcaster Tony Wilson (2007), Sir Bobby Charlton (2008), the GB Olympic and Paralympic Cycling Team (2008), 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital (Volunteers) (2011) and Professor Sir Andre Geim and Professor Sir Konstantin Novoselov (2013) and, is a rare occurrence.
The decision to award the Freedom of the City to the 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery was moved by the Lord Mayor at a special meeting on 25 November 2020 at the Town Hall.
The 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery has been in active service for some 216 years, serving in the Boer War, WW1, Gallipoli, Sinai and, on the Western Front. The current 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery continues to recruit and train Manchester citizens in readiness for the defence of the country at home and abroad.
The Lord Mayor of Manchester Coun Tommy Judge said: “It is a great privilege to award the 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery the Freedom of Manchester. I would like to congratulate and thank them for their hard work and commitment to the people of Manchester over such a long period of time.
“The regiment has a long and illustrious history with the city. The significance of their work is integral to the history and indeed, the future of Manchester. It is a very proud moment as Mayor, and as an ex-serviceman to honour the 209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery, 103rd Regiment Royal Artillery and, to watch the parade.
Lieutenant Colonel Taylor-Jane Fox said: “209 (The Manchester Artillery) Battery are part of history today.
“Being awarded the Freedom of the City of Manchester is a great honour; to have the Battery written into the history books of this great city is a huge privilege and every soldier on parade is proud to be part of this significant event.”
Parking & road closure details
On Saturday, parking suspensions will be in place from 6am, road closures will be in place from 7am – 1pm and traffic will be diverted for the duration of the event.
The road closures on Saturday are:
Closed 7am to 1pm
- John Dalton Street (Deansgate to Cross Street)
- Princess Street (Cross Street to Portland Street)
- Cross Street (Princess Street to St Mary’s Gate)
- St Mary’s Gate (Cross Street to Blackfriars Street)
- Deansgate (Victoria Bridge Street to Great Bridgewater Street)
- Peter Street (Deansgate to Oxford Street)
- Mount Street (Windmill Street to Peter Street)
Traffic regulation orders will also be in operation for:
- Watson Street – will be one-way in the opposite direction to usual
- Portland Street – the bus lane will be suspended.
Access to premises
The council says where possible, vehicles will be managed out of car parks where egress is onto the above roads. — Access and egress from Marks & Spencer’s Car Park and 1 Deansgate will be managed throughout via Victoria Bridge Street.
All road closures will be lifted by 2pm.