Tower Of Light Final Parts Main Pic
Manchester's Tower of Light. Image: Vital Energi

Final parts added to Tower of Light

Neil Tague

The last sections of the 40m Tower of Light have been installed, as Manchester City Council and its partners near completion of the most visual part of its Civic Quarter Heat Network project.

This stage of installation at the Tonkin Liu-designed tower involved the addition of nine “drum” sections, each measuring 4m wide, 6m long and 4m tall, plus a 1.8m crown section.

Once the Civic Quarter Heat Network project is complete, the Tower of Light will act as the chimney for the low-carbon energy centre. The network is intended to play a central part in Manchester reaching its ambition of becoming zero-carbon by 2038.

The scheme is projected to save an initial 1,600 tonnes of carbon emissions per year and the energy centre will become more efficient as additional buildings are connected.

The facility will initially serve seven central buildings: Manchester Town Hall and Town Hall Extension, Central Library, Manchester Central Convention Centre, The Bridgewater Hall, Heron House and the Manchester Art Gallery.

Tower Of Light Second PicContaining a 3.3MWe CHP engine and two 12MW gas boilers, the energy centre will generate electricity and harness the recovered heat from this process for distribution via a 2km district heating network, which will supply heat for the buildings.

The scheme has been partly funded by a £2.87m grant from the Government’s Heat Network Investment Project.

Work on the CQHN project is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2020.

Anthony Shawcross, senior construction manager for Vital Energi, said; “This project is much more intricate than a standard flue due to its complex geometry but will hopefully become an iconic part of Manchester’s skyline. We hope the people of Manchester will now enjoy it for many years.”

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Love this. it’s a shame it’s gas but hopefully it’s efficient. Great to see creativity in something that could have otherwise been a dull blot.

By Thumbs Up

Did they get planning… must have missed it.

By The Old Faithful

The Governments golden child is in the spotlight again.

By L5 alive

This project has impressed me more than the countless skyscrapers being built and planned across Manchester . There’s something of the great Victorian but brought up to date about it.

By Nve

I saw this last Friday – a beautiful project and a reproach in how to integrate energy infrastructure into an urban context.


Great design but the use of Gas is very disappointing.

By Anonymous

Looks awful!

By JohnC

Looks really good, interesting. Gas, though is disappointing. There is new solar pv panel technology that’s reportedly 30% more efficient, that is a game changer especially for medium and big installations. Also what’s happening with the geo~thermal explorations (Irish company were drilling in Ardwick) and the new Therme’ scheme next to the Trafford Centre?. The hills surrounding M’cr would make good turbine locations. This tower is a step in the right direction but we need much much more..

By Robert Fuller

@ The Old Faithful yep, January 2018. The planning reference is 118869/VO/2018 if you want to take a peek.

By Manc

Schemes like this ensure Manchester leaves Liverpool in the dust once again


A more soothing experience can be found at Liverpool Pier Head. Next to the three graces and of course, the Liver Building being the worlds first skyscraper.

By Liverpool romance

The Liver Building isn’t the world’s first skyscraper, possibly Europe’s?

If you don’t know Manchester at least know your own city x

By Anonymous

LiverpoolRomance ..a more soothing experience than a Civic quarter Heat Network project? I think you’ve missed the point! Relax …you don’t need to type everything you think. Sit by the Pier head and be soothed…….

By Anonymous

The Liver Building isn’t a skyscraper it’s a building. And it’s definitely not the worlds first building although some in Liverpool might try to claim that it is.

By Parochial

‘Technically’ there are no skyscrapers in Liverpool; however, the worlds first iron framed glazed curtain wall office block WAS built in Liverpool in 1864, Oriel Chambers. Never classed as a skyscraper, there where warehouses taller than this in Liverpool; but its construction was unique for the time, witnessed by John Wellborn Root as a boy. An American architect based in Chicago, considered to be the father of american skyscrapers. The Monadnock Building which was the worlds tallest building in 1891 was his design based upon Oriel Chambers. It even had the oriel styled windows on one side. However, the definition of skyscraper keeps changing, today the Monadnock would not be considered a skyscraper.

By Billy