Manchester viaduct to be transformed into urban New York style park

Artist's impressions of Castlefield Viaduct
Temporary planning permission has been granted to tranform a disused viaduct in Manchester city centre into a New York Style urban park. Credit: ©Twelve Architects & Masterplanners

Temporary planning permission has been granted to transform a disused viaduct in Manchester city centre into a New York Style urban park.

The National Trust has been given twelve months for the scheme on Castlefield Viaduct.

The initial plan is to open the viaduct next summer. The Trust plans to use the 'pilot' year to test how visitors use the space, understand which plants will grow best there and to gather feedback from people on their thoughts on the best use for the viaduct.

Artist's impression of the Castlefield viaduct Credit: ©Twelve Architects & Masterplanners

Entry to the temporary urban park will be free with a booking system in place to help manage numbers. As part of the experience, visitors will be able to join a guided walk on the viaduct.

The middle of the viaduct will be transformed with plants and foliage to help attract wildlife including pollinators such as bees and butterflies and will include areas where partners will be invited to display art and get involved with planting and growing.

How Castlefield viaduct looks now Credit: National Trust

Mike Innerdale, Regional Director for the North at the National Trust, said:

"The pandemic showed us the importance of our local parks and gardens, but it also highlighted significant inequalities in access to green space in urban areas like Manchester.  

"The approval of our temporary planning application means we can progress with our ambitions to transform the viaduct into an accessible green space for the 50,000 residents living within a twenty-minute walk of the area.

"We also want to share the viaduct's story with the people of Manchester, many of whom are likely to have walked on the cobbles underneath this mighty heritage structure, or spotted it on the Castlefield skyline, without knowing its history.

The viaduct has stood in Manchester for over 125 years and we want to help the city to protect it, injecting the viaduct with a new lease of life so it becomes a space people can use and be proud of."