SCHOOLS and colleges from the Leigh area are set to join top literary and pop talents in a bid to find 'A Poem For Manchester.'

The competition is asking people of all ages to get creative and write a poem, no more than 40 words long, about the city of Manchester.

Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Simply Red's Mick Hucknall and M People's Heather Small will be joining comedians Dave Spikey and Steve Coogan to support an initiative to find the region's stand-out poem backed by developers Argent, Manchester City Council, BBC GMR and Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive.

The winning poem will be announced on National Poetry Day, October 7, as part of Manchester's Poetry Festival, and will become a focal point in the landscaping of the forthcoming Piccadilly Place development.

St Richard's Primary School, Atherton helped launch the event on Monday when the GMR bus visited Ena Mill.

Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, will select the final 12 short-listed poems for a public vote after the closing date for entries on May 28.

Freepost entry forms are available in libraries, information centres and GMPTE Travel Shops in Greater Manchester. Entries can also be created on-line via BBC GMR's website ( The BBC GMR Action Line will also have full details on 0161 244 4321.