The Piccadilly wall is coming down
By Harry Newton
Manchester City Council have released plans for Piccadilly Garden to be regenerated as part of a £10million plan.
Landowners of Piccadilly Gardens Legal & General revealed the plans, created by Urban Edge and landscapers LDA, showing the replacement of the infamous grey wall surrounding the Gardens with a set of restaurants and a bar.
The bar and restaurants will be part of the modern architecture that will be made of wood, flint, and glass. The council aim to have family-friendly restaurants on the bottom floor, and a bar on the first floor, which will also have a roof terrace to enjoy Manchester’s glorious three-day Summer on.Photo: Wojtek Gurak @Flickr
The Gardens have been criticised by the local community in recent years after the 2002 regeneration of the Gardens were deemed inadequate. In the last six months, the Manchester Evening News gathered 20,000 signatures on a petition urging the council to change the Gardens, which appears to have been successful.
The target for most of the abuse from Mancunians has been the grey wall surrounding the Gardens. The wall has without doubt been an eye-sore, especially on a wet day. It was initially put in place to prevent noise travelling from the transport hub next to the Garden into the plaza itself, but instead it has diminished the appearance of the Gardens itself.Photo: Paul Holloway @Flickr
As part of the plans footpaths will be re-laid, extra seating will be added along with more trees, and additional lighting will be put in place for the dark evenings when the Gardens have previously seen an increase in anti-social behaviour. The children’s play area will be separated from the rest of the gardens by a flowered partition.
In order to pay for all this work, Legal & General will be funding most of the project, as they have a long-term lease on the current wall and property surrounding it. They will supply the council with £1.3million by leasing a slightly bigger footprint than they do at the moment.
There will also be £700,000 spent on improving the gardens and an extra £8million that will see the wall tumble, and the total reach £10million. Two electronic advertising boards will also be put in place, that are expected to bring in an additional £50,000 per year for maintenance.
Council leader Sir Richard Leese said that it was time for change: “We recognise that there are aspects which have proved unpopular and others where there is scope for improvement, including design improvements to deter anti-social behaviour and enhancing our own ongoing maintenance of the space.”