Landscape architects have been appointed to produce concept designs for improvements to Piccadilly Gardens and its surrounds.
LDA Design (Manchester) will come up with a number of outline schemes which Manchester residents and businesses will then be consulted on in the spring.
They were the landscape architects behind a previous scheme, produced by LGIM Real Assets (Legal & General), which attracted broad public support but was discontinued when it became financially unviable.
The Council would like to keep many of the core elements of that original scheme including new planting, improved lighting and design to help deter anti-social behaviour, raising grassed areas and re-laying paths to repair the damage areas. Critical to the proposals will be the creation of a more family-friendly area with an improved children's play area and removing and/or replacing existing street furniture.
There is also an aspiration to soften the appearance of the Pavilion’s concrete wall, transforming it into a green ‘living wall’ and by removing the free-standing part of the wall which, unlike the Pavilion itself, is owned by the Council.
The plans will also take in a wider area than the previous scheme, expanding the area under consideration to include the section of Piccadilly to the north of the gardens, Parker Street to the south and Mosley Street to the west.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We know that Piccadilly Gardens is a major issue for a lot of people which they have strong views about. We are committed to funding and bringing forward a scheme which will both improve its appearance and help make it more of a welcoming, family-friendly space.
“We look forward to sharing further ideas and details with the public and having a conversation on how best to improve the gardens as soon as we are in a position to do so.”