Plans to redevelop Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester. Credit: LGIMRA
Plans to redevelop part of Piccadilly Gardens have been given the go ahead with work set to start this summer and be completed by the end of the year.
The concrete pavilion at the city centre spot is set to be split into two separate sections as the canopy is removed and the restaurants below are refurbished.
A metal, glass and LED art installation is to be mounted on the walls facing the bus station and more lighting would be added around the pavilion’s perimeter.
This planning application precedes broader plans which will be put forward by Manchester city council to transform Piccadilly Gardens and the surrounding area.
A £25m investment is planned for the public space which has long been associated with anti-social behaviour and is known as a hotspot for crime.
Last month, the city council shortlisted six teams for the next stage of an international design competition to make the Gardens a ‘world class space’.
The proposal for the pavilion was put forward by Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) Real Assets which owns this part of Piccadilly Gardens.
Senior fund manager Rob Codling said: “By reworking the pavilion at Piccadilly Gardens we will be able to make the site a more enjoyable experience for residents and visitors to the city.
“The pavilion’s prominent position makes it a gateway between the green public spaces and the city and we have a responsibility to make this a positive and welcoming space for everyone.
“We’re grateful to the council for their approval of the plans and support for the scheme.”
The new art installation planned – which has been designed by SpaceInvader Design and Mancunian artist Lazerian, together with lighting specialist Artin – features thread-like lines and holes in a nod to Manchester’s cotton industry.
Two individuals objected to the application arguing that the proposal does not go far enough and that more of Piccadilly Gardens should be redeveloped.
However, proposals for the wider site – which includes Mosley Street, Parker Street and parts of Portland Street and Piccadilly – will be brought forward later this year with the successful design team set to be selected in 2023.
The town hall says the plan for the pavilion by Legal & General (L&G) – which is separate to the £25m investment – is a ‘statement of intent’ for the wider area.
A Manchester council spokesperson said: “Their design will bring light and space to this part of the Gardens, creating new lines of sight and a much airier look and feel to the Piccadilly area.
“L&G’s improvements at the Pavilion will complement the wider programme of investment that will transform Piccadilly with the ambition to create an outstanding family friendly public space, a welcoming gateway to the city and an enhanced space for events.
“The council has already shortlisted six international teams to develop proposals for Piccadilly and we expect to see their design concepts later this year, before the successful team is appointed in 2023.”
The town hall launched an international competition to completely redesign the Gardens following the fall of the so-called ‘Berlin Wall’ in November 2020.
The design brief envisages the major city thoroughfare becoming a ‘special place with a strong sense of identity, welcoming and uniquely Mancunian’.
Work on the pavilion is set to start this summer and be completed by autumn.