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Ambitious plans to bring The World Expo to Ashton
Friday 9th September 2016 @ 08:53 by Adam Higgins
Ashton News

Ambitious plans are on the cards in an attempt to bring the ‘World’s Fair’ to Ashton.

Local political leaders want to bring The World Expo, which takes place every five years, and is larger in size, scale and duration than any other global sporting or cultural event, including the Olympics and football World Cup, to Ashton Moss.

The Expo has previously been staged in cities like Seville, Seattle, Barcelona, Paris and New York. The latest was staged in Milan last year.

Now Greater Manchester Combined Authority feels that hosting the World Expo could be just the economic boost that is required to rebalance the UK’s economy from the South East back to the North West and set out post Brexit UK PLC’s stall to the rest of the world.

GMCA chiefs Sir Richard Leese and Tameside Council leader, Cllr Kieran Quinn, are promoting the idea with Ashton Moss identified as a suitable option in Greater Manchester to host the global event.

Cllr Quinn, GMCA lead member for investment strategy and finance, said: “Hosting World Expo in the UK would touch the whole nation, but we believe it would make sense to have it here, as part of the efforts to rebalance the national economy.

“We believe Greater Manchester, and Tameside, can make a compelling case to stage this hugely significant event and it can be a powerful ingredient in the drive to rebalance the nation’s economy.”

Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne is also supporting the idea.

“I am fully supporting Manchester’s bid to host World Expo 2025,” he has stated.

“If successful, it will be a huge regeneration boost for my constituency, which part of the proposed Ashton Moss site covers, with benefits felt across Tameside and the wider Greater Manchester area.

“Expo is also great chance to highlight the best of Britain to the world, and the best of the world to Britain, and the event is long overdue to come back to the UK.

“We last hosted the event in 1907 in Dublin (when all of Ireland was in the UK) and before that, in London in 1862 and in 1851 (The Great Exhibition).

“So where better to host the 2025 Expo but here in the world’s first industrial city: the home of the first passenger railway, where the atom was first split, the first programmable computer built and where graphene was invented.

“The bid has my full support.”

However, not all local politicians are fans of the idea.

Local Conservative stalwart, Cllr Doreen Dickinson, said: “We had a lot of debts from the Commonwealth Games but I have not seen a great deal of legacy in terms of housing or business.

“These grand ideas are great on paper, but who is going to pay for it?

“If it is the Greater Manchester taxpayer then I would be against it.”

Potential host countries have until October 31 to put themselves forward, and GMCA is encouraging the government to seize the opportunity for a global shop window to demonstrate that the UK is open for business and committed to international trade following the referendum vote to leave the European Union.