Sadler’s Yard, a new public square at the heart of Hermes and Co-operative Group’s 20-acre NOMA development, opened on Thursday between the CIS Tower, New Century House and Hanover, near Victoria Station.
The new square occupies previously closed-off walkways and the Co-op said it is the first new public space to be opened in the centre since The Triangle, now the Corn Exchange, was reopened 17 years ago.
Named after James Sadler, a balloonist, chemist and pastry chef who made the first manned balloon flight from Manchester in 1785, the square was designed “to celebrate the spirit of innovation that runs through Manchester’s history.”
The square was designed by landscape architect Planit-IE and built by contractor the Casey Group.
The opening this week will be followed by a number of events, including the Grub Food Fair, which is due to take place on Saturday 5 December, from midday.
David Pringle, director of NOMA at the Co-operative Group, said: “Sadler’s Yard is the public heart of the NOMA neighbourhood and will sit at the centre of a range of beautifully restored heritage buildings and newly created office, retail and leisure space.
“It will change the way people move around this part of the city centre – opening up the streets and forming a gateway through NOMA. It will also forge great links for the Northern Gateway regeneration plans taking shape in the Lower Irk Valley, New Cross and Collyhurst.
“It’s a new city space with an old city feel, and we hope the people of Manchester enjoy spending time here.”
Cllr Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “High quality public realm spaces, that are versatile and attractive, and that can bring people and communities together, are crucial in any modern city. As Manchester grew, there was little public space available for residents, and so it is with great celebration that we can now unveil this new square.
“Sadler’s Yard will be a true refuge in the heart of the city – providing a new walk-way through the city and a backdrop to some of the incredible development and restoration work planned across NOMA’s 20-acre site – and I hope the space becomes a gateway for residents coming from the north of the city.”
Ben Tolhurst, asset manager at Hermes Investment Management, said: “With Sadler’s Yard, we’re not just creating premium public realm for the community to enjoy, we’re looking to unlock a new route through the city centre, which can enhance value for locals, business and people coming to live here.”
The new city square is being delivered by NOMA and Manchester City Council and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
Cundall was the lighting designer and provided electrical, civils, infrastructure and structural engineering consultancy services on Sadler’s Yard.