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Mon June 14 2021

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Piccadilly Gardens to get £10m facelift

9 Nov 16 Plans have been unveiled for a multi-million-pound regeneration of Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens.

CGI of the proposed Pavilion buildings, new covered public realm and gardens
CGI of the proposed Pavilion buildings, new covered public realm and gardens

The city centre space is to get an overhaul as part of a £10m investment by Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets (L&G), in partnership with Manchester City Council. In return, L&G’s lease area is being extended.

“We see the partnership with Manchester City Council and the proposal for Piccadilly Gardens as an opportunity to regenerate a prominent and well-used space in central Manchester that is also a thoroughfare to other parts of the city,” said L&G head of real assets Bill Hughes. “Under the proposals L&G will dedicate £2m worth of investment in improvements to Piccadilly Gardens to make them more attractive and welcoming to families while deterring anti-social behaviour.

The plans include removing the existing Pavilion building and feature wall and replacing them with two new Pavilion buildings linked by a covered area of new public space for year-round use. Greater Manchester Police have been consulted on the landscaping design “to deter anti-social behaviour and improve natural surveillance”.

“The proposed Pavilion design will bring a new vibrancy and economy to Piccadilly Gardens which we hope residents can be proud of and visitors to Manchester will see as a destination in its own right,” Bill Hughes said. “L&G has a longstanding track record of working with progressive local authorities to bring forward regeneration and improvements to social infrastructure projects. We see Piccadilly Gardens as a prime example of this kind of collaboration in action.”

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The proposals for the Pavilion and Gardens will be undertaken and paid for by L&G. The cost is estimated to be in excess of £10m of which £2m will be invested in public realm improvements. The value of the extra land required for the new Pavilion buildings is estimated at £1.3m, which will be reinvested in the public realm improvements with L&G providing the remaining funding. L&G has a 250-year lease on the Pavilion building.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: “For all the debate it has generated in recent years, Piccadilly Gardens remains an incredibly well-used public space. But we recognise that there are aspects which have proved unpopular and others where there is scope for improvement, including design improvements to deter anti-social behaviour and enhancing our own ongoing maintenance of the space. These proposals will provide both real and sustainable improvements which are compatible with Piccadilly Gardens’ role as a major thoroughfare used by hundreds of thousands of people a week as well as a destination where people can meet and relax.

 “We believe the scheme which L&G has brought forward following detailed discussions with the council is a constructive response to all these considerations but are keen to engage with the public to get their thoughts on the proposals.”

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