We're struggling to survive yards from Chanel's A-list show – we're overrun by gangs & beggars, it's a kick in the teeth | The Sun

LOCALS are struggling to make a living around the corner from where Chanel hosted a fashion show on a street plagued by gangs and beggars.

Celebs – including actress and Chanel ambassador Kristen Stewart – flocked to the event in Manchester's Northern Quarter.

But yards away, locals are struggling to make ends meet in a town plagued by "aggressive" beggars, drug pushers and gangs who infiltrate the area's night clubs.

They blasted Chanel for the "bloody stupid and poncy" show which did not make a "scrap of difference"to the area.

Glen Walker, 62, was drinking in the Millstone pub on Thomas Street with his uncle Frank Morris.

Glen, a Manchester United fan, said: "I was born and bred around here and so was my uncle Frank.

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"I have heard all about the fashion show and I am not impressed. It looks like its all over now and the canopy will be gone next week. So what good did that bring to Manchester.

"It's not made a scrap of difference to this area. You used to be able to have a proper night out around here but not anymore.

"I remember when you could have a pint with footballers and former players like George Best."

Frank said: "I remember when I had could from pub to club and would know everyone inside.

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"I never go in the fancy coffee shops around here. All I want is a decent pint."

A doorman working in the Thomas Street area said: "So Chanel has spent a fortune putting up the canopy but its coming down next week and going to a scrap yard.

"I think some people think they should have kept up for the winter to keep the homeless dry. It also provides a shelter for people drinking in the area."

The security worker said that the Northern Quarter could be dangerous at night.

He said: "So the bars are ok but some of the clubs attract gang members.

"I won't work on those doors because of the danger. I live in Manchester and I don't want trouble coming to my door.

"Some of these people will find out where you live. I don't get paid enough to put up with that kind of thing."

Fred Nasir, who runs Yadgar cafe on Thomas Street, said: "The truth is that lockdown killed the Northern Quarter. All my customers work from home now so how can I make any money?

"For me its never been trendy around here. All I can see are homeless people all day long outside my shop near the car park.

"The truth is that the Northern Quarter is a ghost town and the whole thing is a bit of a joke.

"In terms of the fashion show yes its good for the area but why have it in the middle of winter when its freezing cold.

"To be honest, I think its bloody stupid and a bit poncy."

Never the less, the town was met with an influx of celebs for the show, including Liam Gallagher's sons Lennon and Gene, Hugh Grant, Jennifer Coleman and Alexa Chung.

Footballers Rúben Dias and Luke Shaw, representing the city's two big clubs, were also spotted, along with Liverpool's Curtis Jones.

Former player turned hotelier Gary Neville was also spotted at the event.

On Wednesday night Ms Stewart and others attended a VIP event at the city's Salford Lads Club, which once famously appeared on the cover of a Smiths album.

Thomas Street, in the heart of the Northern Quarter, was transformed into a runway where Chanel showcased their Métiers d'Art 2023- 2024.

Lee Hanigan, 57, owner of New Cross Army Surplus on Tib Street, said: "I think an event on this scale has to be good for the area, but for us its all come a bit too late.

"For me retail is dead in the Northern Quarter. Lockdown killed it off. It's just not the same now with most people working from home.

"I am thinking of closing down soon. I am paying out £60,000 per year just to be here.

"Actually 80% of our business is online now anyway. The shop is just bleeding money left, right and centre. It's just not worth it anymore.

"But I think the Northern Quarter has had its day now. So good luck to Chanel but I think its too little too late."

Chris, a youth worker, said: "The Northern Quarter is just about gentrification and you can find it all over the UK now. It's all about fancy prices.

"There are issues with drugs and crime all across the city centre. Some of the so called homeless are dropped off in minibuses and then picked up at the end of the day. They are in town to take money from tourists and drunks.

"It's a shame because the real rough sleepers are the ones who suffer. So there are crime gangs who are making money out of the Northern Quarter."

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Steve Davis, who has worked in New Cross Army Surplus for over ten years, said: " Some of the beggars can be a bit nasty with customers who are sat out drinking coffee or having lunch. It's not nice to see."

Bruno Pavlovsky, the president of fashion at Chanel said that the brand was attracted to the Northern Quarter because it was home to many independent businesses. He added that Manchester was seen to be “audacious and interesting."

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