Albert Square Plans, Manchester City Council, P Manchester City Council
Drawing showing what the finished Albert Square will look like. Credit: via Manchester City Council

Manchester’s Albert Square transformation begins

Julia Hatmaker

Ground has been broken on the city council’s project to increase the size of the square, carry out resurfacing with granite sett paving and ultimately make the Town Hall more accessible.

Albert Square will grow by 20% according to the council’s plans, which were designed by landscape architect Planit-IE.

This will be done by closing the roads on two sides of the square and making them pedestrianised public space. When Adana Construction finishes its work on the site, only the Princess Street side of the square will be open to traffic.

This will be the first phase of the project, which is slated to complete next year. The entire project will finish in 2024. It will ultimately enhance the safety of the area, remove the old concrete barrier, reduce clutter, improve lighting and provide better infrastructure for events. As an added bonus, the transformed square will also make the Town Hall more accessible and provide the neighbouring restaurants with a chance to set up outdoor seating areas.

As part of the project, the surface of the square will be changed to granite sett paving, with yorkstone paving around it.

“Albert Square is the civic heart of Manchester – a place where people come together to celebrate, socialise and commemorate,” said Cllr Bev Craig, deputy leader for the council.

“These works will create a bigger and more flexible events space but also a more pleasant environment and cleaner air all year round,” Craig said. “We believe that when it is finished the transformed Albert Square will be one of the finest civic spaces in Europe, helping to create and support good jobs for Manchester people.”

Those behind Tampopo Pan-Asian restaurant, which sits on the edge of the square, said they were “excited” about the square project.

“It will be a challenging phase for businesses and customers alike over the coming months, but we are all working together to limit impacts of the works,” said chief executive officer David Fox. “We look forward to the results of the work and to being an integral part of Albert Square’s future.”

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Cant wait for this, finally a major city square we can be proud of and the city deserves. Allowing the restaurants to set up tables there is going to be superb. Manchester’s very own Piazza del Duomo.

By Bob

A civic space to match arguably the best town hall in the UK

By Anonymous

Fantastic news that they are bringing this work forward. Will look great I’m sure

By Steve

And change the name to Chartist Square. Who was Albert anyway? A local Lancashire lad?

By James Yates

Post-completion maintenance will be crucial.

With MCC only bothering to wash down the neglected Cenotaph a paltry once-per-year, I don’t hold out much hope of the new Albert Square granite setts being regularly cleaned in accordance with good practice.

By Hop-Scotch

Along with the (very expensive but worth it) renovation of the Town Hall and the wholesale changes to St Peter’s square on the other side ,the Civic area really will be a place to be proud of. Agree with other comments though, maintainance is crucial.

By Cerberus

It’s about time Picadilly was smartened up, the once
Immaculate gardens were turned in to a shabby dirty
mess, Manchester City Council should be ashamed this once thriving area has been left to rot.

By Christine Mullen

A welcome addition to Manchester – great news. Possibly more trees there? Pedestrianisation in other parts of the city would also increase the opportunity to breathe cleaner air e.g. Deansgate

By Gary H.

Absolutely amazing.. even more roads closed in the city centre making it less and less accessible for us to get to it

By Mark

This City gets more amazing and ambitious by the day with each new development inspiring the next to dream, go bigger and bolder. Awesome

By Alan

Rename it something Mancunian. De Quincey square has a ring to it.

By Elephant

Fantastic news. At last a square that’s worthy of the growing city. Splendid news.

By Anonymous

While residents Houses sit in disrepair someone thinks it’s a good idea to spend 300 million on refurbishing Town Hall and surrounding area well thought out plan I,d say nice new flooring for the homeless to sleep on no wonder the conservatives are in power labour have definitely not got a clue, spend the money on things that matter not this rubbish

By Peter

I think this area of Albert Square is good as it is! Maybe some maintenance. However, Piccadilly etc needs the help more and you would notice a difference! And Market Street (which appreciate isn’t historic but looking rather rough!

By Bob Dawson

A big screen somewhere would be a good idea but it looks great well done can’t wait

By Stephen Chadwick

A great addition to a thriving city. What does Peter want instead??

By Kev

@David The money for projects like is separate from the money for services such as homelessness which the conservative government have slashed over recent years

By Political zealot

This is great. It will give the city centre a place to gravitate to, an actual focal point with heritage and a strong sense of place.

By Anonymous

A big screen? Please no! Keep the screens in Exchange square where they are more appropriate. A civic quarter needs to be elegant .

By Anonymous

As a proud Manc, I’m all for a smart city, it’ll look like it should do cosmopolitan, give Manchester a chance to breath we’ve all been through a tough time, it’s time to smile it’s what we do best in the north west come on Manchester it’s nice to be nice it’s free.

By Gary Evans

Please ensure this space accessible by bus for those who need transport.

By A M Mathias