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Work finally begins on £25m Piccadilly Gardens transformation

Manchester City Council have begun work on a £25m redevelopment of Piccadilly Gardens - but what do you think?
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Piccadilly Gardens

Piccadilly Gardens is well overdue for a bit of love.

You’ve told us what you think the Council should do with it, and some of you may have got your wish, as work begins today on the transformation of its iconic pavilion structure.

Piccadilly Gardens redevelopment

The plan involves splitting the pavilion into two parts by removing the concrete canopy and introducing new perimeter lighting.

This redevelopment aligns with the council’s broader vision for Piccadilly Gardens and the surrounding area.

Piccadilly Gardens £25m redevelopment

Piccadilly Gardens

The council has allocated a budget of £25 million for the overall redesign, with LDA Design winning a competition to produce designs for the new space announced in July.

The aim is to create an outstanding public space, addressing issues such as addiction, homelessness, and anti-social behaviour.

Work still to be done on Piccadilly Gardens redevelopment

Despite the support from Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police for the pavilion’s development, they acknowledge it may not fully resolve the area’s challenges. However, Greater Manchester Police expressed optimism in a letter supporting the proposal, stating that removing the roof of the Pavilion to allow natural light and create a more open thoroughfare “will reduce the opportunity and means to commit crime and anti-social behavior.”

Reducing criminal and anti-social behaviour at Piccadilly Gardens

As part of the plans, popular establishments within the pavilion, including Bunsik and the newly opened Blank Street Coffee, will also undergo refurbishment. The pavilion, situated on the edge of Piccadilly Gardens, acts as a gateway between the green public space and the transport interchange.

Councillor Bev Craig

Councillor Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council, expressed excitement about the project, stating, “Piccadilly Gardens is a prominent location which we want to become an outstanding public space for residents and visitors alike.” She mentioned that detailed plans for public consultation will follow, with a planning application expected later this year.

In addition to the pavilion’s transformation, a feature art installation designed by SpaceInvader Design and Mancunian artist Lazerian, in collaboration with lighting specialist Artin, will be completed by the end of June 2024. The installation, comprising metal, glass, and LED lighting, pays homage to Manchester’s cotton industry with thread-like lines and holes.

Rob Codling, Senior Fund Manager for LGIM, expressed enthusiasm for the project, stating, “We are pleased to begin work on the site and hope that we achieve our combined aim with Manchester City Council in making the space a more enjoyable place for residents and visitors to the city.”

The project is being managed by Colliers, providing project management and commercial management services. The design team appointed by the council will create detailed plans for public consultation, with a planning application expected later this year.

The artist collaborators

SpaceInvader, one of the collaborators in the art installation, “This art installation celebrates the city’s industrial heritage and represents the threads of our Mancunian culture.”

Artin expressed excitement about the project, stating, “There is no doubt for us that the existing Piccadilly Gardens concrete features need an injection of light, and we believe this vivid installation piece will help give the existing architecture a new lease of life.”

Lazerian shared his thoughts, stating, “Through a collaborative effort with Artin and Space Invaders, the concept emerged to restore a sense of connectedness with an installation that resonates with both past and present, making the area more accessible to the people who use it.”

The Piccadilly Gardens redevelopment signifies the first step in the broader transformation of this iconic Manchester space, setting the stage for a vibrant and inviting urban landscape.

You can find out more on the council’s website by clicking here

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