Governmentto add pounds 43m to rebuilding of Manchester city centre

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The rebuilding of Manchester city centre, severely damaged by an IRA bomb last June, is expected to begin in earnest after an announcement by the Government yesterday that it would add a further pounds 43m to the project, writes James Cusick. The Deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine, made the announcement which takes public funding for rebuilding to pounds 63m. The total could be boosted further if a pounds 20m application to the Millennium Commission for the creation of a "millennium quarter" is successful.

The city has already been awarded pounds 20m from the European Development Fund. With the Government's financial commitment expected to be multiplied by private-sector support, the task force set up immediately after the explosion is now estimating more than pounds 340m will be available for regeneration. The bomb injured 220 people and destroyed large parts of Manchester's city centre commercial and shopping district.