A planning application detailing the first three phases of Manchester’s Medieval Quarter, centred around creating new public space between the Cathedral, Chetham’s, and the River Irwell, has been submitted.
A masterplan by SimpsonHaugh detailing a series of public realm improvements around the Cathedral, Chetham’s the Corn Exchange, and the Football Museum was outlined to the council in 2016, and the first planning application has now come forward to allow part of the project to progress.
This covers phases 1a, 1b, and 1c of the masterplan: 1a centres on a new external space to Cathedral Gardens along the Irwell; 1b covers opening up one side of Chetham’s and excavating part of a defence ditch to create a city park, featuring willow trees and sculptures; while 1c includes improved public realm around the Cathedral’s front entrance.
Galliford Try has been picked to deliver the project in a £2m contract; this is expected to begin later this year subject to planning approval. The former Palatine Buildings fronting Victoria Street, dating from the 1960s, have already been demolished to open up views of the listed Chetham’s buildings.
Vehicular access will be maintained to allow maintenance access, and access to Chetham’s from where Victoria Street meets Chapel Street. There will also be a new pedestrian point of access to the site from Hunts Bank to the north.
The design team includes landscape architect Planit-IE, Civic Engineers, and Deloitte as heritage consultant.