Manchester partygoers welcome in 2011

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The festivities are vital for Manchester's economy, the city council said

Thousands of revellers gathered at Manchester's Spinningfields to welcome in 2011.

Fireworks were launched from the top of Quay House in Hardman Square, instead of the city's usual new year display in Exchange Square.

The city council said the celebration concluded the most successful Christmas period the city had ever seen.

Councillor Pat Karney said: "The fireworks were a thrilling end to Manchester's Christmas celebrations."

"With the biggest Christmas markets in the UK, beautiful - and energy efficient - lights, and the best shops of any city, Manchester's Christmas truly is magical," he added.

"It's not just because we want to put on a good show, however. A successful Christmas is vital for Manchester's economy.

"With this year's doom and gloom, it was all the more important to make sure we pulled out all the stops. And I'm delighted to say it's been a remarkable success."

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