The Council’s Executive will be asked to approve almost £2m for the first phase of the transformation of the Piccadilly Gardens area when it meets on Wednesday 11 March.
The £1.8m capital funding will fund a number of early improvements to improve the area’s appearance and people’s experience of it – including the demolition of the free-standing part of the concrete wall.
This money will also cover costs associated with the development of the scheme including concept design, survey and other preparatory work and gauging public feedback on outline plans.
The budget for the resulting scheme will be finalised once a design has been agreed but it will be considerably higher. The council will be working with principal property owners and other interested parties to develop a joint fund to enable the scheme to be brought forwards. This will include a significant further council contribution.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This is a key step in the transformation of Piccadilly Gardens. We have been listening to people’s views about the area and we are determined, working with principal landlords, businesses, residents and property owners in the nearby area, to support changes to make it a thriving and welcoming place.
“We know we have got to start investing in the area now to deliver a space which meets the aspirations of Manchester people. The fact that we are planning to commit so much funding to the first phase of the scheme alone hopefully underlines the extent of our commitment.”
Landscape architect LDA Design (Manchester) has been appointed to produce concept designs for improvements in Piccadilly Gardens and its surrounds.
Manchester residents and businesses will be invited in the spring to give their feedback on a number of designs. A final design will then be produced incorporating the priorities identified in this feedback exercise.
The Council want to make a vibrant and welcoming space with a family-friendly feel which will be adaptable for multiple uses such as play days, markets and cultural events.
The scheme also intends to address the issue of the Pavilion’s unpopular concrete wall. What form improvements might take is to be determined.
The plans will take in a wide area including the section of Piccadilly to the north of the Piccadilly Gardens, Parker Street to the south and Mosley Street to the west.