1. ITV Report

Alicia Keys concert cost Manchester taxpayers £425,000

American singer Alicia Keys performing at the Grammy Awards ceremony earlier this year Photo: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Manchester City Council has defended spending £425,000 to help stage a concert by singer Alicia Keys.

She performed a free gig this week for 1,000 fans in the intimate surroundings of Manchester Cathedral. A video of the gig will be broadcast on MTV as part of its MTV Crashes series.

Celebrities and footballers were among those attending the event, which included a VIP reception before the concert.

A total of £250,000 of the funding came from a European regeneration fund aimed at attracting visitors and future investment to the city.

The rest is understood to have come from the town hall budget.

Sara Tomkins, assistant chief executive (communications, customer and IT) at Manchester City Council, said: "This event will showcase Manchester around the world. As well as showing the concert itself, MTV are also broadcasting a programme about Manchester's musical heritage and vibrant music scene.

"Taking part in such world-class events strengthens Manchester's position on the world stage as a premier destination for music, entertainment and culture, boosts the local economy, and increases the global profile of Manchester as an exciting destination for young adults to visit, work, study and live.

"Manchester's ability to attract such events is testament to the ambition of the city and we hope to realise further activities in partnership with MTV in the coming years. The show has generated massive coverage across national and international media, including the Washington Post, with an expected media value in excess of £6.6m."

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