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The memorial features a stone “halo” featuring the names of those who lost their lives

Arena memorial consultation closes

Neil Tague

Manchester City Council has concluded a consultation to update plans for its Medieval Quarter, introducing a “Glade of Light” sculpture to serve as a permanent memorial to the 22 victims of the May 2017 terrorist attack.

The memorial is to be located between Manchester Cathedral and Chetham’s School of Music, at the foot of Fennel Street, where it meets Victoria Street.

It will feature a white stone ring “halo” featuring the names of those who lost their lives set in bronze, with personalised memory capsules containing memories and mementos to be provided by their loved ones held within the stone. The Glade of Light will also feature a planting scheme planned to ensure year-round colour.

Architects BCA Landscape and Smiling Wolf were appointed on the project in 2019, in consultation with the families of those killed. The families have also been consulted as designs developed.

Ahead of the Medieval Quarter consultation, which launched in May, council leader Sir Richard Leese said: “We have consulted, and continue to consult, with those who lost loved ones on the location and form of the memorial.

“Their input remains crucial, but we also welcome the views of others as part of wider engagement around the Medieval Quarter plans.”

Professor Malcolm Press, chair of the Manchester Memorials Advisory Group, said: “We are determined to ensure a fitting and lasting memorial. Getting to this point has taken great care and consideration.”

The Medieval Quarter is the part of the city centred around Chetham’s, the cathedral and the River Irwell frontage. With a masterplan initially undertaken in 2016, planning consent is already in place for improved pedestrian linkages, greening and street furniture as the city looks to make more of the area’s cultural and historic significance.

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The Medieval Quarter is centred around Manchester Cathedral and the surrounding area


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Really lovely design…simple but very fitting. The planting is the key here and ensuring that it is regularly cleaned and maintained.

By Steve

I agree with Steve it is a lovely design and the key is the maintenance and cleaning which unfortunately Manchester City Council are poor at.

By Lenny68

A really simple, but effective form of the bench that reminds me of the proposal by Logan & Wilcox for the competition last year. I’m looking forward to a more developed the planting strategy than the artist’s impression. It will be great to see the memorial within beautifully landscaped garden-like space by PlanIt-IE.

By Paulina

MCC’s cleaning and maintenance regimes of the city’s public realm schemes are often woeful…

Sadly, I don’t see them possessing anywhere near the requisite levels of respect and ethics required relating to the cleaning and maintenance of such a sensitive memorial.

By North by North-West