'It's a place for everybody': Step-father of Manchester Arena attack victim on new halo memorial

ITV Granada Reports' Tim Scott went along to the opening of the new memorial.

The step-father of one of the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack says a new memorial is a place for everyone affected by the bombing to reflect.

Stuart Murray, whose step-son Martyn Hett was killed in the bombing, says it is important for the families of lost loved ones but also "hundreds more" left scared by that day.

He spoke after the opening of the city's now permanent memorial to the 22 victims of the attack - each name is written into the stone which forms a halo around a central garden.

Stuart Murray told ITV News: "It's particularly important that there is somewhere everybody can go.

"I'm always very conscious that, as families, we're always very focused on, but there's so many more people affect by this and we shouldn't forget them"

Families of those who lost loved ones were able to make personalised memory capsules, containing mementos and messages, which are embedded inside the halo.

They were also given the opportunity to visit privately before the memorial opened.

Martyn Hett and his mother Figen Murray

Also speaking after the opening was Martyn's mother, Figen Murray, who has recently awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year's honours list.

She said: "It's a place for future generations to come and remember, so that they are reminded of what happened that day.

"It's part of the city's history and it's a really important memorial for that reason, and for all those reasons really."

The leader of Manchester City Council Bev Craig said: "We will never forget those whose lives were lost on 22 May 2017.

"They already had a permanent place in the hearts of Manchester people. Now they have a lasting memorial in the heart of our city."

The tribute is conceived as a living memorial - a peaceful garden space for remembrance and reflection, featuring plants which grow naturally in the UK countryside.

Each plant has been selected to echo the changing seasons and, around the date of attack every year, the white flowers of a Hawthorn tree planted at the halo's centre will bloom.

An official opening event, separate to public access, is planned for spring 2022 Credit: Manchester City Council

Joanne Roney OBE, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, said: "The Glade of Light is a visible demonstration that we will never forget what happened on 22 May 2017.

"It has been no ordinary project for everyone involved in its creation. We hope the love which has gone into creating it shines through."

The tribute is located between Manchester Cathedral and Chetham’s School of Music, at the foot of Fennel Street where it meets Victoria Street.

A charitable trust is being set up to oversee the memorial's ongoing maintenance.

The memorial site is close to Manchester Cathedral Credit: Manchester City Council