VIDEO | Sneak peek of Castlefield Viaduct ‘sky park’ in Manchester

Get a taste of what to expect from the National Trust’s newest garden, which visitors can explore for themselves starting on 30 July, in the video above. The video begins with a timelapse of the construction, with the newest footage of the park starting around the 0:40 mark.

As seen in the video, more than 3,000 plants have transformed the grade two-listed Castlefield Viaduct into a lush oasis. MC Construction brought the garden to life under plans designed by Twelve Architects.

The £1.8m sky park will be open for 12 months and is 330-metres long. If it proves popular, and the estimated £25m required for funding can be secured, the park could become a permanent fixture in Manchester.

National Trust director-general Hilary McGrady voiced her excitement for the temporary park.

“What I love about this space is that it encapsulates so much of what the Trust’s work is about: opening up our shared heritage for everyone to enjoy, creating beautiful spaces and bringing people closer to nature,” she said.

“It’s about creating something new for the community, while also protecting an iconic piece of industrial history.

“We hope hundreds of people will visit and enjoy spending time in nature among the trees, shrubs and wildlife that is already starting to make this space its home,” McGrady continued.

“We’ll also be able to learn from this project and really start to understand more about what and how we can bring more green spaces and wildlife to thousands more people across the country in urban spaces.”

MC Construction group operations director Russ Forshaw said: “It has been a great pleasure partnering with National Trust and the key stakeholders involved in the project to transform the unused historic space into a green oasis, which will support the economic growth and social well-being of the local community of Castlefield and beyond.

“Regenerating the disused grade two-listed viaduct that has stood above the historic area of Castlefield for over 125 years has been no easy task. I am thrilled with the end result and I am incredibly proud of the team who have worked tirelessly over the past couple of months to bring National Trust’s vision to life.”

Visitors will need to book their visit to the Castlefield Viaduct in advance on the National Trust’s website. Tickets are free, but necessary as weight restrictions mean that only 100 guests can visit a day. Bookings can be made up to four weeks in advance.

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A truly wonderful thing, however how can they secure funding if it only allows 100 people per day? Presumably it’s meant to be seriously oversubscribed on the website? I hope they mange it though, it would be a great permanent addition to the city centre combining green space with the high Victoriana that Manchester is famed for.

By Anonymous

This looks a worthy project and will bring much joy and colour to this location, I have seen the Chemin Vert in Paris which is a bigger attraction but lovely to walk along.
Wish the National Trust would fund something similar here in Liverpool as they seem to have lots of money.

By Anonymous

I think the concept is absolutely fantastic, Manchester is begging for green spaces. I do feel like they could’ve done it a little better though, it’s a bit underhwelming

By Michael

It’s only a pilot project waiting on public feedback before other phases are started. It can be tweaked in the future.

By Jrb

I don’t quite see the attraction. Do plants look any better when they are elevated above ground?

By Anonymous

You’ve clearly missed the point. This is making use of an unused Victorian viaduct to bring much needed greenery into a post industrial space in the middle of a city centre. Much as they’ve done on a larger scale in New York. That’s the attraction.

By Anonymous

What a great idea. I don’t think anyone could possibly quibble or fail to see the attraction with the concept. Here’s hoping they get the rest of the funding and fully realise the potential.

By John

I agree with Anonymous 2:56 lets let the place rot and not benefit from well needed investment/green space

By Anonymous

Only temporary?
Just like the great architecture that once graced our great city!
Honestly, who has money to burn right now?

By Andy Grey Rider

Investment is hardly money to burn, that’s the point of investment. Otherwise nothing would be built , Manchester wouldn’t be the great flourishing city it is and there’d be no point to this website would there?

By Anonymous

A great project this. Just making use of our great Victorian infrastructure would get the vote from me. I’ve no doubt they will get the £25m needed to make it permanent, let’s face it that’s just small change compared to what is being spent around here.

By Cal Smate

The high line in New York is amazing – same idea as Castlefield – it attracts 8 million visitors a year – and is run by volunteers. There is huge interest and it attracts investment and tourism. Lets get the management structure correct in Manchester and extend the garden area as soon as possible

By Anonymous

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