Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Sacha Lord, co-founder of Parklife and Warehouse Project, joined a panel of guests at Manchester Metropolitan University to discuss student nightlife safety.

“Manchester has the biggest student population in Europe, when you include the whole of Greater Manchester.

“Our first elected mayor Andy Burnham appointed myself as night-time economy advisor. I’ve created a blueprint, a vision, for the next 12 months”

Sacha Lord, who started Parklife in 2010, has been working alongside Andy Burnham to create a safer nightlife across Greater Manchester.

“We’ve now got purple flag in Bury and Stockport; Wigan and Bolton are starting as well – that sends out a really strong signal, there’s 4 boroughs there that are saying this is a safe, diverse, inclusive night out.

“There’s a lot happening. I think the fact that we’re all sat here this evening, there’s probably about 140 people sat here tonight.

“The Mayor himself came down, which I think shows how important it is. I said at the outset we wouldn’t be able to give answers, we did give some answers but tonight was more of a listening exercise”

Nick Pope, father of Charlie Pope who tragically died after falling into a canal on his way home from a night out in Manchester last year, joined the panel of guests answering questions to students, Sacha Lord said:

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“Nick came along tonight and he was extremely humble. He fought a very strong campaign about barriers across some of the canal areas – vulnerable canal areas. Now when you go to see where Charlie actually drowned, there are actually barriers there.

“There are constantly things being done. For me it’s not just a city centre thing.

“I know Man Met and Uni of Manchester are in the city centre but Salford Uni and Bolton Uni are clearly not. It is across the whole of Greater Manchester and I think it would be silly to just limit it to universities – there are sixth form colleges across all of Greater Manchester as well.

“I’d like to open it up to whatever is created from this evening, roll it out across Greater Manchester”

Annie Mac, DJ and radio host, supported the event:

“Safety on a night out is so important; whether we’re clubbing or just going out with friends. We have to look out for each other!

“I’m delighted that for the first time, all the universities across Greater Manchester are coming together, along with the Mayor, Andy Burnham, to start openly talking about safety issues on a night out, and creating something that can be spread around the whole city region.”

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Abbie Baker, Temi Adebayo and Megan Hayward attended the event as representatives from the University of Salford Students’ Union. Abbie Baker, Health and Society Officer said:

“What we’re hoping to achieve from doing panels like this and having the Greater Manchester Student Assembly is to be able to look at doing a survey for Salford students so we can highlight the areas in which students don’t feel safe.”

“We all know there’s issues in places such as Wallness lane, but that isn’t up to us as an officer team to just declare that that’s an issue – we want to here what students have to say”T

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