Salford finishes new Cathedral Gardens

The first phase of improvements to Chapel Street's public spaces was officially unveiled on Tuesday with an afternoon tea party held in the new grounds of Salford Cathedral.

Local residents joined representatives from the Diocese of Salford, Central Salford urban regeneration company, Salford City Council, lead development partner English Cities Fund and architects Urban Vision to celebrate the project.

The first phase created green walkways around Bexley Square and the gardens to the west of Salford Cathedral. Urban Vision was appointed as architects, Birse Civils as main contractor and Ashleas as landscape contractor for the project, which includes the installation of new street furniture, new lighting and a striking wooden sculpture, designed by Handspring. The project has also included repairs to existing walls, railings and gates, the removal of graffiti and improved security.

This project forms part of The Green and Walkable Street programme, which is delivered by Central Salford in partnership with the council.

Members of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra played at the tea party, where catering will be provided by the Creation Café of Salford's Angel Centre.

Chris Farrow, chief executive of Central Salford, said: "It is our vision to re-connect communities by creating beautiful community spaces and walkways by investing in public realm improvements such as this. Today's event marks the first phase of these long-term plans which, when completed, will reveal Salford's hidden gems.

"The next stages of the programme will see improvements underway in the Ordsall neighbourhood this autumn."

Cllr Ray Mashiter, executive support member for planning, added: "The Cathedral Gardens have been developed for the benefit of residents and are an important part of the regeneration of the Chapel Street area.

"Public spaces like this will help to attract investment into central Salford and the completion of the gardens shows our plans to transform Chapel Street are becoming real."

English Cities Fund has planning permission for more than 2m sq ft of commercial space, along with 849 homes and 390 hotel rooms.

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