U+I Mayfield (1)
The River Medlock will be uncovered as part of the creation of the 6.5-acre park

Construction starts on £1.4bn Mayfield 

Dan Whelan

Work to create a 6.5-acre public park under the first phase of the Manchester mixed-use scheme has begun, while the build of 320,000 sq ft of offices will start next year. 

Main contractor PP O’Connor is on site carrying out remediation work and a contractor to deliver the park and offices will be named in the coming weeks, according to the consortium delivering the project. 

Mayfield, the redevelopment of a 24-acre former depot site close to Piccadilly Station into a mixed-use neighbourhood over the next 10 to 15 years, is being led by the Mayfield Partnership, which comprises developers U+I and LCR, as well as Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester.

Earlier this year, the Government pledged to provide £23m from its Getting Building Fund to Mayfield Park as part of its strategy to support ‘shovel-ready’ schemes that could spur the UK’s economic recovery following the Covid-19 crisis.  

The public park, designed by architect Studio Egret West, will see the uncovering of the River Medlock, which runs underneath the Mayfield site. It is said to be the first public park to be built in Manchester for more than 100 years. 

U+I Mayfield (2)

Studio Egret West drew up the masterplan for the 24-acre scheme

The first phase of Mayfield also features the construction of a pair of office buildings: 

  • The Poulton, designed by architect Bennetts Associates, located at the entrance to the Mayfield neighbourhood and offering 76,000 sq ft of workspace over nine storeys
  • The Republic, designed by Morris + Company, a 13-storey, 244,000 sq ft office block.

A 581-space multistorey car park designed by Studio Egret West also features in the first phase of development. 

Under the plans, Mayfield will eventually see the creation of 1,500 homes, 1.6m sq ft of commercial space, 300,000 sq ft of retail and leisure facilities and 14 acres of public realm.  

Richard Upton, chief development officer at U+I, described the start on site as “momentous”, adding that the park is the “most important element of the whole neighbourhood”. 

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham added: “If we needed a reminder of the importance of accessible green spaces and the benefits they can bring for our mental and physical wellbeing, this year certainly brought one. 

“A new public park can give a real lift to this part of Manchester, creating important community assets and jobs. As part of a much wider vision for the city centre, it can help to boost our economic recovery and transform urban space for the people who live, work and do business here.” 

The start of the first phase of work follows the conversion of the former depot building at the site into a cultural venue including Escape to Freight Island, an outdoor leisure venture similar to Bruntwood’s Hatch on Oxford Road. 

In addition, Logik Developments, chaired by former cricketer Andrew Flintoff, has lodged an application to build a 12-storey block containing 215,000 sq ft of offices and a 170,000 sq ft hotel at the Mayfield site.

Faithful+Gould is the project manager and cost consultant for Mayfield and RoC Consulting is the appointed geo-technical and geo-environmental engineer for the project.

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At last! This seems to have been in the planning for as long as I’ve had teeth. A very significant development and in an area that’s ripe for redevelopment and right next to Piccadilly station.

By Nve

Great to see this starting!

By G

Brilliant. It’s a great vote of confidence in Manchester that this is starting even before HS2 arrives. Once the HS2 station is built I can imagine the value and demand in this part of the city will rocket.

By Bob

Looks fantastic. The last public park was probably St John’s Gardens – built in 1932 following the demolition of the church a year earlier – so while not quite 100 years, it’s been a long time coming.

By Manc

Excellent news all round. So good to see them starting with the park too, wonderful stuff.

This site opening up and the St Johns studios site opening up are momentous milestones for the city centre!

By Thumbs Up

Excellent news

By Anonymous

Great stuff to see this has started – alongside the redevelopment of the UOM north campus, this should see the whole area brought back into good use over the next 10 years.

By Mike

Really positive news and a very positive message message that development on this scale in Manchester will continue. I wonder how many civil servants we might see moving North as per the original plans especially with HS2 also in the offing. Not holding my breath on that one though!

By DaveDee

More green space for the city centre, great. Please get it right.

By Anonymous

Great news. I’m really looking forward to seeing the redevelopment of the Piccadilly East and Mayfield sites having spent my younger years cycling into Manchester through these areas.

By Tomo

Fantastic news! Can’t wait to see it get started…..

By Steve

Good news for Manchester. We could all do with some at this time of the year.

By Newobserver

This is a great time to be announcing such a large development. I wasn’t sure this would ever progress but along with all of the development in Ancoats, the HS2 and the UoM This side of the city centre has really hit the jackpot.

By Dan the man

Fantastic – having attended an on-site tour, a presentation by the design team and a Q&A session, I can tell that a lot of thought has gone into the new park and what it can bring to the area and Manchester as a whole.

By JR

I think this is brilliant but Mayfield is just one of the many parks that need to be built in the city centre. Given there will be high density resi/commercial surrounding the park, there is still a requirement for provision of green space for the existing residents/city workers.
I wish they’d start converting the car parks into green parks or at least turn half into multi-storey/basement parking.

By Anonymous