A memorial to honour the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack of May 22, 2017, has moved a step closer with official plans submitted to Manchester Council.
The Glade of Light memorial plan will include a white stone ring ‘halo’ which will bear the names of the 22 who lost their lives set in bronze. Each will include personalised memory capsules – continuing memories and mementos to be provided by their loved ones – held within the stone.
A public consultation on plans for the regeneration of Manchester’s Medieval Quarter, the wider area which the memorial sits within, was held in May and June this year and found there was significant public support for the project.
Subject to the planning application being approved, the memorial will be located between Manchester Cathedral and Chetham’s School of Music, at the foot of Fennel Street where it meets Victoria Street – a short walk from the newly-named AO Arena.
A living memorial to reflect the changing seasons
Glade of Light is designed to be a tranquil garden space, with a planting scheme planned to ensure year-round colour and reflect the changing seasons – a living memorial entirely using plants which grow naturally in the UK countryside. Tree locations have been calculated to maximise light and ensure the garden gets as much sunlight as possible.
The new plans have also taken into account positive suggestions from a number of consultees and includes the addition of a new outer circle path around the memorial and more seating. These changes are designed to improve inclusivity and accessibility, and enable people to linger longer in the garden while preserving the memorial’s intimacy.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester will never forget those who lost their lives on 22 May 2017 and everyone so deeply affected by the terrible events that night.
“This memorial promises to be a beautiful tribute to them, a place for remembrance and reflection and a lasting part of the fabric of our city.”
Joanne Roney OBE, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said: “The council made a solemn commitment that Manchester will never forget and to ensure a special and fitting memorial to those who lost their lives on 22 May 2017. We believe the proposals in this planning application, which have been painstakingly developed, honour that promise.”
Designers BCA Landscape and Smiling Wolf were appointed last year, in consultation with the families of those killed.
It is intended that construction work on the memorial will begin in early 2021 with completion due in autumn 2021.
The memorial news comes as the public inquiry into the Manchester Arena bombing enters its third week in London. Over the past two weeks the relatives of all 22 victims have given their heartbreaking tributes to their loved ones, who lost their lives in the final minutes of Ariana Grande‘s concert after terrorist Salman Abedi detonated a bomb in the arena foyer.