Piccadilly Gardens’ redevelopment hits major milestone with important step completed

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The revamp of the much-maligned public square has been in the works for sometime.

‘Concept designs’ for Piccadilly Gardens’ major redevelopment have been completed, it’s been revealed.

The revamp of the much-maligned public square — which serves as a gateway to the city, bus station, tram stop, protest site, and shopping hub — has been in the works for sometime. Last year, council bosses ruled out the prospect of returning the possibility of returning the gardens to its sunken flower bed design.

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The redevelopment is taking place alongside the shake-up of the Gardens’ most architecturally divisive building — the concrete pavilion. It is not being demolished as the area changes because it isn’t owned by the council, with Legal & General holding the structure. It has decided to give it a makeover, removing its middle roof section and installing new lights on the wall.

How the new concrete pavilion will look. Picture: LGIMRA.How the new concrete pavilion will look. Picture: LGIMRA.
How the new concrete pavilion will look. Picture: LGIMRA. | LGIMRA

More widely, LDA Design has been appointed by the council to oversee the redesign of the space, winning out in a competition last summer. Now, a report rounding up the council’s capital investments has revealed where the project is up to.

“The current budget is to take the scheme to RIBA Stage 3 including submission of planning permission,” the report said. “It is envisaged that completion of RIBA Stage 2 will be achieved by March 2024.”

‘RIBA Stage 2’ means concept designs have been completed, a spokesperson for the authority confirmed. The next phase in the RIBA programme is spatial coordination, then technical design, then manufacturing and construction, then handover, and finally ‘use’.

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Currently, negotiations between the council and LDA over the ‘extension of the appointment of the Design Architect’ are in process, the report added. In effect, the authority is getting quotes from the firm to complete the spatial coordination phase of the project ‘and benchmarking these costs against the agreed framework to ensure value for money’, the spokesperson added. Alongside these talks, the council has pushed back £1.7 million of funding for the project into the 2024-25 financial year, when that work will take place.

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