Work has now begun on a major improvement plan to Piccadilly Gardens, starting with the repair of the fountain.
Following a long running campaign by councillors and many comments from city centre residents and many others across Manchester and beyond, funding has been approved to repair the fountain as the first step of a major programme of works to improve Piccadilly Gardens.
Over the last few weeks a wide range of initial improvement works have already taken place to improve the public realm within the Gardens. This work includes extensive re-turfing of the lawns, the re-planting of beds and planters and the cleansing of the statue of Queen Victoria. The day to day cleaning regime has also been stepped up within the Gardens to ensure that the area is well presented.
In the fountain repair scheme, the water tanks, pipework, filtration system, plant room equipment and the granite on the top surface of the fountain will all be replaced to restore the original jet display configuration and reduce the likelihood of future repairs.
Construction on-site will commence on 5th September to avoid fencing off a large part of the gardens during the busy summer months and is expected to be completed shortly after Christmas.
Under the instruction of councillors, officers are also working on a wider improvement scheme - currently the subject of discussion with Legal and General, the long term leaseholders of the space. This will include a major refurbishment of the current gardens including lifting all the paving, providing a concrete sub-base; relaying and replacing damaged stone; extending the grassed area; planting new trees; new benches and raised beds to protect the grassed areas. The intention is to provide a high quality upgraded environment in keeping with the original design. This major investment, including the provision of adequate funding to maintain the new infrastructure, is based on the city council's commitment to repair the existing fountain and make provision for its future maintenance.
Councillor Kevin Peel said:
"Piccadilly Gardens is enjoyed by so many but it is no longer fit for purpose. We've been pushing for quite some time for a major programme of investment to improve the space and we're pleased that this is now underway. We encourage residents to contact us with your ideas to be fed into the team working on the plans."