A revamped Exchange Square water feature has been unveiled, adding a splash of colour to one of Manchester city centre’s most popular public spaces.
The redesign pays homage to the original feature - which was completed in 1999, as part of a transformation of the square - while improving its energy-efficiency and increasing its resilience to damage.
The three main sections of the feature, which can be found outside the Corn Exchange, are lit with colour-changing, energy-efficient LED lighting and animated with water jets, to continually run through a 15-minute chase, dance and wave sequence between 7am and 11pm. The striking taps at the top of the water feature have been retained and restored.
Sections of the original slate stepping stones have been retained, but have been inlaid and bonded into three raised plinths and set within a surrounding of granite, inviting visitors to sit and enjoy the animation of the water and the lighting.
The new design will minimise levels of debris entering the filter system and reduce the damage caused to the original stepping stones, as a result of people walking over the feature. New pumps and filters have been installed, to save energy and reduce the need for ongoing maintenance.
The new water feature, provided through an investment of £823,000 from Manchester City Council, has been designed and installed by Cruden Property Services and the Fountain Company (Glossop), who also designed and installed the St Peter’s Square water feature.
Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “Exchange Square is a great public space and has long been a focal point for local businesses, events and visitors. The attractive water feature has always been a big part of what makes it stand out and this revamp will help to secure its long-term future.
“This investment in the look and feel of the Square will help it to continue to serve Mancunians and our many visitors from around the globe, acting as a thriving place where people enjoy spending their time and a key hub of economic activity, supporting thousands of city centre jobs. I'd like to thank CityCo for supporting this scheme and local businesses for their patience while the work was carried out.”