Viadux Staircase
A glass lift and staircase will be installed and a section of the bridge removed to support the scheme

Salboy and Ask prepare Viadux enabling works

Sarah Townsend

The developers are planning a staircase, lift and landscaping for the Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop, as part of their £300m residential and office scheme in central Manchester.

Salboy and Ask Real Estate formed a joint venture in January to deliver the project, and Salboy’s construction arm Domis started early-stage works in March.

The site, owned by Ask, is located on the former Bauer Millet unit off Albion Street, a grade two-listed arch that sits to the rear of Manchester Central Convention Centre.

Once complete, the Viadux scheme will house a 40-storey residential tower and 14-storey office building.

As part of the £1m package of enabling works, the JV has applied for planning permission to install a glass staircase and lift, as well as podium landscaping at both street and platform level at the Metrolink tram stop next to the residential tower.

Access from Great Bridgewater Street to the tram stop is to be rearranged to create a smooth route for passengers coming off the tram who wish to head north further into the city, transferring them to ground floor level through the two pockets of public space.

In addition, a section of the Deansgate-Castlefield bridge will be removed under the plans to allow more natural daylight onto Great Bridgewater Street. Here, several grade two-listed archways are already planned for conversion into retail and leisure use as part of the Viadux scheme.

SimpsonHaugh architecture studio has designed the project.

If the application is approved by Manchester City Council, the work would be carried out in phases with the staircase and lift installed in the first phase later this year.

Simon Ismail, director of Salboy, said: “This is an important package of works, designed to create easier access to public transport for everyone and a distinct setting for the development through high quality public realm.”

Jamie Hills, development director from Ask added: “The landscaping at podium level will extend the existing treatment around the station, mixing hard landscaping and low-level planting and there will be a new pocket of public realm on Great Bridgewater Street at the base of the stairs and lift.”

Currently passengers using the northern side of the Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop face a difficult route, past Manchester Central’s goods yard and either through the Great Northern complex to Deansgate or down steps onto Windmill Street, noted Mike Mellor, head of commercial at Transport for Greater Manchester.

“The new lift and stairs will make the tram much more accessible and the landscaping will echo the design already in place to create an integrated and pleasant route for passengers using both the tram stop and the linked Deansgate Railway station,” Mellor said.

“It would essentially create the third direct pedestrian route to the tram stop and, crucially, be accessible for all.”

The enabling works are being funded by the 50:50 JV between Ask and Salboy.


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The sooner the better. I love the planned continuity with new development and previous work on the station.

By Thumbs Up

Prefer the original design for the staircase. This looks a bit cheap

By Steve

Another day, another Salboy article…………………

By Bert

Bit of a pity we don’t see escalators here. This is one of the busiest stations on the network and escalators are such a common and expected element of rapid transit rail. Steps are fine, but it is quite a hike up from the street level and while lifts provide the required access for accessibility reasons, escalators are the standard around the world for high frequency rapid transit stops that have a significant height difference from street level. If this were London (or anywhere else on the planet outside the UK really) we would get escalators.


This part of Manchester looks spectacular. This will only add to it.

By Elephant

More Chinese cash.

By Barry

I can live with lifts but as others have said, logic would suggest escalators. Been looking forward to the Viadux development getting off the ground. I read recently of Roman remains found under those cloistered arches, exciting! I gather that the development includes the opening up of the arches and higher up the building lurches over the metrolink. I really hope that they include a bike/cycle lane. I’d take my bike into the city just to ride that section, really dynamic!

By Robert Fuller