Work will finally begin on the long-awaited demolition of Piccadilly Gardens’ ‘Berlin Wall’ on November 16, Manchester city council has confirmed. Announcing in a statement just yesterday, the demolition will form part of a wider plan to rejuvenate the area – which many locals have expressed no longer resembles the ‘Gardens’ of its former glory, thanks to the excessive use of concrete in the space.
A new plan is currently underway with the space, however, it’s been cited that the wall has been an enabler for anti-social behaviour, providing poor sightlines across the gardens. The overall regeneration scheme will cover an area including a section of Piccadilly to the north of Piccadilly Gardens, Parker Street to the south and Mosley Street to the west.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Piccadilly Gardens is a much-used public space with huge potential.
“As the city begins its recovery from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and looks to the future, the regeneration of this prominent space will have a big part to play – hosting appropriate events and encouraging and supporting nearby business activity and job creation.
“Improving Piccadilly Gardens and the surrounding area is a high priority for the council. Further ideas are in the pipeline but this demolition will be the first visible sign that change is coming.”
Councillor Pat Karney, city centre spokesperson, said: “This is the news that everybody in Manchester has been waiting for – part of the wall is coming down. I’m going to mark it on my calendar.
“This is only the first part of what will be much bigger plans to make Piccadilly Gardens the vibrant and inviting space at the heart of the city which it should be.”
The wall was recently used as a canvas for defiant graffiti, which expressed much of the region’s frustration with the government’s dealing of the Coronavirus outbreak. The graffiti was allowed to stay up for a number of days, with councillors supporting the message.
A Manchester-based architect has been appointed to help transform Piccadilly Gardens, with the Council determined to make Piccadilly Gardens a “vibrant and welcoming space with a family-friendly feel which will be adaptable for multiple uses such as play days, markets and cultural events.”