Glade of Light: first look at the Manchester Arena bomb memorial as it opens to the public today

The public can today visit the landscaped gardens near the Cathedral as fences are taken down.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 5:42 pm

The Glade of Light memorial to those killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena terror attack will be opened to the public from today (Wednesday 5 January).

Work began in March last year on the lasting tribute, which is sited between Manchester Cathedral and Chetham’s School of Music, at the foot of Fennel Street where it meets Victoria Street.

An official opening event for the memorial is planned for spring 2022, ahead of the fifth anniversary in May, but fences are being taken down today so the public can have a look around.

The centerpiece of the memorial white marble halo with the names of the 22 people who lost their lives. Families of those who died were earlier invited to embed personalised memory capsules, containing mementos and messages, inside the halo.

The Glade of Light, designed by BCA Landscape and Smiling Wolf, is designed to be a peaceful garden space for remembrance and reflection. It features plants which grow naturally in the UK countryside and have been selected to provide year-round colour and echo the changing seasons. Around the anniversary every year, the white flowers of a hawthorn tree planted at its centre will bloom. An outer circle path, including seating, has been included to enable people to linger in the garden for longer.

Coun Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We will never forget those whose lives were lost on 22 May 2017. They already had a permanent place in the hearts of Manchester people. Now they have a lasting memorial in the heart of our city.

“The Glade of Light is a beautiful tribute to them and somewhere which will also have profound meaning for everyone affected by the attack. We hope the memorial site will be a place of peace and comfort, standing as a reminder that love is stronger than hate.”

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