Fresh images of £3.2m Manchester park proposal
Backed by Homes England, the revamp of Ancoats Green forms part of Manchester City Council’s drive to improve its public spaces.
Updated visualisations of how the reworked Ancoats Green could look have been published today as work begins on site.
The £3.2m project marks the final chapter of the regeneration of Ancoats and aims to cater for existing residents and those who will occupy a further 1,500 pipeline homes.
Homes England has committed £28.1m to the overall project – including the Ancoats Mobility Hub – which, combined with the £4.7m allocated by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority through the Brownfield Housing Fund, brings the total budget for the final phase of Ancoats to £32.7m.
Ross Miller-Green, senior manager of infrastructure grants project management at Homes England, said: “Homes England has allocated over £28m towards the regeneration of the back of Ancoats, creating the UK’s first ever mobility hub and transforming Ancoats into the green heart of the community.
“The development of Ancoats Green will provide an exemplary community asset and set the tone for the high quality and sustainable Ancoats neighbourhood that will follow.”
The new-look Ancoats Green will include walking and cycling routes to encourage active travel through the neighbourhood, around 15,000 sq ft of planting, a 76% net increase in trees, and 40,000 sq ft of wildflowers.
In addition, granite paving stones removed from Albert Square as part of the ongoing Our Town Hall project, will be reused at Ancoats Green.
Planit and Civic Engineers are leading on the design of the project, which sits between the Mobility Hub and the first development from This City, the city council’s housing delivery vehicle, on Rodney Street.
“Ancoats Green is another major step towards creating a blend of urban vibrance and the tranquility of the natural world,” said Anna Marohn, principal landscape architect at Planit.
“This new development will form the beating green heart of this area, connecting existing and future communities. Engaging with the local community early in the design process was important to ensure that we’ll deliver a park that works for them and is fully inclusive and accessible. The final play area will benefit from accessible roundabouts, slides, and trampolines.”
Leader of the city council, Cllr Bev Craig, said she hopes the scheme would allow more families to enjoy the area.
“We know that more and more people are choosing to have families in the city centre,” she said.
“We have an opportunity through this investment to create a new green heart for Ancoats with open grassed spaces and new play park that will allow the community grow and knit around it.
“Ancoats Green will be the focal point that this neighbourhood needs, becoming the lynchpin of the ongoing development in the area – and the final chapter on the regeneration of Ancoats over the last two decades.”
Manchester is often criticised for a lack of good quality green space but has taken steps in recent years to address the issue, most notably by creating Mayfield Park with the help of a £23m government grant.
The wider investment in the green spaces and public realm in Ancoats also proposes an upgrade to Jersey Green, which will begin next year.
“[The Ancoats Green project] is part of a long-standing and long-term commitment that we have to make Manchester a greener, more attractive and cleaner place to live,” Craig said.
“We are committed to creating more high-quality green spaces for residents and visitors and this project is echoed by green investment across our city – including throughout or Victoria North programme, as well as the former Central Retail Park and our new Mayfield Park.”
Virtual Planit has created the visualisations for the new-look Ancoats Green.
Richard Line, director of Virtual Planit added: “It’s hard for people to get a feel for the Ancoats Green enhancements ahead of it being built.
“Our CGIs have really helped the Ancoats community and council to visualise the changes – bringing to life how beautiful the landscaped park will be and creating a sense of excitement around the new equipment their children can play on.”