The Council’s plans to create a new ‘green heart of Ancoats’ is underway as a planning application is submitted as part of the final phase of the neighbourhood’s regeneration story.
The planning submission focuses on three areas of key public space, including Ancoats Green, new public realm on Prussia Street and Jersey Green.
Ancoats Green will act as the green focal point for the area, with walking and cycling routes from Poland Street through to Butler Street, and from Portugal Street to the Rochdale Canal.
These routes will also connect the wider community to the new Ancoats Mobility Hub, which is designed to reduce vehicle traffic in Ancoats and promote a more pedestrian friendly, cleaner neighbourhood. The walkways and footpaths will also be lit around the Ancoats Mobility Hub to Butler Street to ensure residents are comfortable walking through the neighbourhood at night.
The investment will encourage active travel as the natural option to move across the neighbourhood, as well as creating more opportunities for local community to enjoy time outside, including new accessible play areas for young people.
Ancoats’ green transformation in numbers:
600m2 of new planting
4800m2 of wildflowers
748m2 wetland planting
76% net increase in trees – any trees removed (either due to disease or those with a limited life span) will be replaced 2:1
A wide variety of trees will also be chosen to add colour and interest through different seasons
The investment has been designed to be highly sustainable with 32% of the new surfaces made from reclaimed material, which create permeable sustainable drainage systems.
The new public spaces will also celebrate Ancoats’ rich glass and bottle manufacturing history, which will be referenced through the design of the entrance ways and street furniture.
The main spaces are:
Ancoats Green - to be complete by 2024
At the heart of the existing and future communities, Ancoats Green will be a community hub with new play areas – including accessible play equipment. In addition, open green spaces and generous footpaths have been proposed, for running, cycling, hosting small events and relaxing.
In keeping with the city’s sustainability ambitions, granite paving stones from Albert Square (removed as part of the ongoing Our Town Hall project) will be re-used within Ancoats Green, reducing the carbon footprint of the development.
Supporting wildlife is a key element of the plans and the intention is to increase biodiversity by adding new native and fruit trees – including an avenue of cherry trees – and will introduce new wildflower and wetland planting habitats. The majority of the existing trees will be retained and any that do need to be removed will be replaced 2:1.
Jersey Green – to commence in 2025
An area that is currently very popular within the local community, the space will remain open with improved footpaths, additional seating and better connections to Miles Platting and New Islington.
Prussia Street – to commence in 2027
The removal of the Jersey St Bridge will allow for the creation of a new green corridor, which will celebrate the former Prussia Street canal arm and will include intelligent drainage designs and water tolerant plants and trees. The Prussia Street greenway will link the Rochdale canal with Ancoats Green via Jersey Street.
The investment to the green spaces in Ancoats is part of the third phase of the regeneration of Ancoats, which will see 1,500 new homes built as well as the creation of a new Mobility Hub.
Homes England has committed £28.1m to this project – along with the Mobility Hub - which, combined with the £4.7m allocated by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority through the Brownfield Housing Fund, brings the total budget to £32.7m
Planning refence number: 136141
Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:
“Ancoats and New Islington is a great place to live, and we want to make the area even better with more and new green spaces, and a play park for children to reflect the growing number of families living there.
“We are committed to creating more and improved green space across the city and provide access to high quality parks close to where people live and work. Although this is a challenge in the city centre, this investment is a statement of our intent to deliver green space for our communities – and the proposals for Ancoats join a range of green investment either underway or completed.
“This includes the new Mayfield Park completed last year, Cotton Field Park in New Islington – which will open out to new green space at the former Central Retail Park – and Electric Park, the city’s first zero carbon green campus. Longer-term, the Victoria North regeneration programme will deliver 43ha of new interlocking green space from the city centre through to Collyhurst.
“These are examples of the long-term ambition we have for Manchester to create a greener, cleaner place to live – that celebrates active travel and provides opportunities for our residents to walk and cycle through attractive green neighbourhoods.”