BREAKING: Piccadilly Gardens cordoned off after police find ‘suspicious package’

Oldham Library has also been evacuated

Police have cordoned off a large section of Piccadilly Gardens and evacuated some surrounding shops after finding a 'suspicious package'.

UPDATE: Oldham Library has also been evacuated after reports of a "suspicious device" found there.

According to a Twitter thread, police began to cordon off a "Big chunk of Piccadilly Gardens" for an unidentified suspicious package at 1.23pm.

Police tape seals off the area. Officers are standing guard. According to police, a 26-year-old man has been arrested.

Several bus services have been cancelled or changed.

Manchester Evening News reports the presence of police vans, and says the cordon covers Piccadilly Gardens, McDonalds, and areas around the tram station.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: "A cordon is in place in Piccadilly Gardens after reports of a suspicious package were made.

"A man aged 26 has been detained by police and enquiries into the incident are ongoing.

"Assessors, along with the fire service, will be attending to establish if the item is viable.

"Transport links including the Metrolink have been affected as a result of the cordon.

"As part of enquiries, Oldham Library has also been evacuated after reports of a suspicious device found there.

"Officers are keeping an open mind and are exploring the possibility the incidents are linked."

A number of shops surrounding Piccadilly Gardens have been evacuated, including Primark.

Stuart Lavery-Blackie, fifth year Medic at The University of Manchester, said: "I had to get off the bus outside Afflecks. A bus driver said he was told there's a suspicious package.

"PCSOs say they are waiting on clearance."

A live update from Manchester Evening News at 2:54pm said police are linking the evacuation to an incident in Oldham Library where a suspicious device was found.