Withington Without Walls
A local stakeholder group has organised several events including Withington Walls

Feedback sought on Withington Village refresh

Dan Whelan

Manchester City Council is seeking views on a regeneration framework that aims to improve public spaces and reduce traffic in the South Manchester suburb. 

The Withington Village framework was drawn up by planning consultant Nexus Planning with architect Broadway Malyan, planner WSP and conservation consultant BB Heritage Studio. 

Among the proposals are improvements to Copson Road and Wilmslow Road, the two main commercial streets in the area. 

Options for these roads include increasing the number of independent businesses, upgrading public realm, improving crossings on Wilmslow Road and pedestrianising Copson Street. 

An enhanced public space outside the library at Rutherford Place is also suggested, as is a review of the car parks in the area, which could be transformed to provide additional public space. Existing shopfronts would also be restored under the plans. 

Cllr Suzanne Richard, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “We need to be ambitious with our district centres. Covid-19 and lockdown have shown the importance of supporting local businesses.

“This sort of development plan will prove crucial if we are serious about helping local areas to recover following the pandemic.” 

The framework aims to build on the progress made by Withington Village Regeneration Partnership, a group of local stakeholders formed in 2017.  

The group has established pop-up cultural activities in vacant buildings across Withington and organised the successful Withington Walls crowdfunding campaign, aimed at raising money to brighten up walls and shutters in the village with artwork. 

Dave Payne, chair of Withington Village Regeneration Partnership, said: “There’s a huge amount of ambition in Withington to improve the neighbourhood and attract investment to support local businesses. 

“We are lucky to have a proactive community of people who are eager to work together and meet the potential of the village.” 

 

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Withington has huge potential but is held back by poor transport options. Sure, it has a regular bus network, but buses are horrible things in this town. There are often claims that Oxford/Wilmslow Rd is the busiest bus corridor in Europe, but it’s only that because all other places have replaced their buses with proper rail infrastructure. We should have a modern, underground metro under this road or at the very least a Metrolink line. Metrolink would not be as fast or efficient as a metro, but would be able to connect to the Didsbury line and offer the opportunity to continue past to Northenden (another lost opportunity due to poor transport). Perhaps in the future, connect to a Metrolink extension down the Fellowfield Loop. I wish all the best for Withington. The businesses there deserve the opportunity to flourish.

By EOD

Sadly, the old cinema the Scala, affectionately known as ‘the fleapit’ was pulled down.
Sad because it was the oldest, indeed the first-built, public cinema in Britain.

By Janet Breeze

I agree with EOD Greater Manchester needs an underground rail system as well further expansion of the metrolink system. An excellent public transport system will be the key to the city regions growth and prosperity.

By Monty

I’ve lived in Withington all my life & am delighted that things have started to happen to regenerate the village itself.
As much as the shop fronts look an awful lot better already, the footpaths also need improving as a matter of urgency & it would be great if new decorative lighting could be put up along Wilmslow Rd, Egerton Crescent & Copson St to make everywhere look more welcoming & loved.

By TD