One Piccadilly Walkway
The project has been designed by consultancy Space Invader Design

Council to enhance Piccadilly Gardens walkway

Dan Whelan

Manchester City Council is pushing ahead with plans to revamp the covered walkway connecting Portland Street with Piccadilly Gardens, while LDA Design waits for sign-off to regenerate the rest of the city centre green space. 

Mark Graham, director at the landscape architect, said he “fully supported” the walkway plans, which are intended to improve the connectivity of the gardens. 

The walkway runs under fund manager Legal & General Investment Management’s One Piccadilly office building, which falls within the LGIM Real Assets portfolio. However, the city council owns the frontage of the office block facing onto Piccadilly Gardens and is therefore leading on the scheme. 

A spokesperson for LGIM said: “As long term pension investors, we are conscious of our responsibility to improve the built environment for future generations, and therefore, with both our own and surrounding schemes, we will continue to work closely with local stakeholders, including the council, to support wider regeneration of the area.”

Consultancy Space Invader Design has designed the walkway scheme, which would see the installation of a hanging lighting structure among other elements. 

The 164,000 sq ft One Piccadilly, designed by Allies & Morrison, was built in 2004 by Carillion. 

The six-storey block is occupied by JLL, BNY Mellon and others. Two suites totalling 43,000 sq ft on the third and fourth floors are being marketed by JLL at a quoting rent of £30/sq ft. 

The ground floor is occupied by restaurants including Shoryu Ramen, Barburrito and Ask Italian.

Piccadilly Gardens Cgi Pavilion

Earlier proposals for the gardens mooted the demolition of the unpopular concrete pavilion

LGIM, which bought the office block from Europa Capital for £75m in 2014, owns several assets around Piccadilly Gardens, including Japanese architect Tadao Ando’s concrete pavilion. 

In March, the council progressed plans to demolish the free-standing part of Ando’s pavilion as part of the ongoing project to regenerate the gardens, led by LDA Design. 

The landscape architect has drawn up three potential designs for Piccadilly Gardens and is awaiting the go-ahead from the council to start progressing one of those designs. 

Graham told Place North West public spaces need to be of the highest quality “now more than ever”, and confirmed that the designs are being discussed by the council’s leadership team. 

He added that he expected to meet with the council over “the next couple of months” to advance the plans but that the Covid-19 pandemic had slowed the decision making process. 

LDA was the landscape architect behind an earlier proposal from leaseholder LGIM Real Estate to regenerate Piccadilly Gardens, first proposed in 2017.

The proposed £2m overhaul was popular with the public but was not progressed due to challenges around funding.

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OOOooooo exciting

By Anonymous

This is worst of all possible worlds. The covered part of the walkway needs to be knocked down. All this will do is prolong that.

By Tyler

Manchester’s very own Platzspitz needs a lot more than a temporary walkway. Shocking.

By Merswy

The so called gardens are a blight on Mcr centre.
What a poor impression it must create to visitors and tourists.

By G Jones

Wow, totally amazed by those designs! NOT! What is the actual point of suspending a few lights and plants. Complete waste of money! They should be blocking off the Piccadilly Gardens end of the walkway and creating a new main entrance at the other end. That will keep them out!

By Steve

Can we not just get rid of Piccadilly Plaza? after the Arndale its the worst building in Manchester, they keep trying to change its but its rubbish. Its a big 1970s lump that forms a big barrier to the gardens, the walkway makes no difference.

By Jon P

It is too late. That ugly building needs bulldozing and the whole site needs a complete fresh start. Al this tweaking is making a bad situation worse.

By Elephant

Can’t think why, but the phrase ‘polishing a turd’ keeps coming to mind…

By MancLad

These designs are awful, this needs to be pulled back and brought into some sort of public debate or indeed get some more expert design input as hanging a few lights isn’t going to improve a walkway. Why can’t we be more radical with design instead of something off the shelf in Argos.

By CityCentre

I don’t think that replacing the light fitting will sort out all of the problems on Piccadilly Gardens then!

By Mr Taken Aback

Demolition of all postwar buildings and a complete reimagination will be the only way to transformed this stain on our city.

By Acelius

Seriously get rid of that building completely.
So many decent buildings which surround that square it could be really decent.
And more trees.

By Anonymous