Northern Quarter Light Tower restored

A six-month programme of works to restore the Northern Quarter Light Tower, an art installation of 76 florescent lights on top of the NCP Church Street car park, have been completed.

CityCo, Manchester's city centre management company, partnered with NCP and Manchester City Council, to ensure the renovations were undertaken to British lighting artist Peter Freeman's 12-metre installation Toy Boy, which included replacing a number of the original neon light tubes with eco-friendly, energy efficient LED lighting.

The piece was commissioned by Liam Curtin, head of the Northern Quarter Public Art Scheme, in 1996 and was turned on in 1999. The installation is positioned on the red tower of the car park.

The Light Tower spent five years in darkness but was switched back on in 2010. Recently the installation had fallen into disrepair and without an agreed programme of works, would have been removed permanently.

Tommy Wolstencroft, project manager for CityCo, said: "This much-loved piece of art has well and truly become part of the Northern Quarter landscape, it wouldn't be the same without it. The work undertaken to keep the Light Tower was significant and did require some changes to the original lighting. CityCo liaised with Peter Freeman to ensure he was happy with the required renovations and he was in full support of the work NCP carried out."

Peter Freeman, designer of the Light Tower, said: "The Northern Quarter Light Tower was one of my first public art commissions and has always been a very special sculpture for me. It was created in collaboration with Michael Trainor and the Art Department. The original concept for the light tower was a beacon of optimism reflecting the creative life and regeneration of the Northern Quarter. It's wonderful that the spirit has been rekindled and the light tower is spreading its magic again."

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