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Chinatown Crisis: Business Demands Urgent Action

The Arch, Chinatown, Manchester

Manchester's Chinatown — one of the largest in Europe — is facing a crisis as footfall slumps by as much as 25% in a year, and crime rates soar.

So say local businesses and residents, who are dismayed by the decay of a once-thriving city centre district, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Chinatown — which fills a city block bounded by Charlotte Street, Portland Street, Princess Street and Mosley Street — has declined at almost exactly the same rate that the nearby Gay Village and more distant Northern Quarter have grown. Manchester's idea of an exotic night out has simply gone elsewhere.

Official figures show that there were 304 crimes recorded in the Chinatown neighbourhood in the first three months of this year, up 44% on the same period last year. Vagrancy, litter and angry drunks have been a growing daytime problem for decades, attracted by the small Chinese garden and the secluded streets. Local businesses said footfall has dropped by between 10% and 25% in the same period.

Local businesses have demanded urgent action. In response the city council has promised to engage with residents and local businesses.