NEW SQUARE NAMED AFTER ‘FIRST ENGLISHMAN TO FLY’ OPENS NEW PATH TO MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE
The first public square to be established in Manchester this century will be officially opened today (3 December) by Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council.
Sadler’s Yard, the new public space at the heart of NOMA, has been created between the iconic CIS Tower, New Century House and Hanover opposite Victoria Station.
The new realm opens up previously closed-off walkways through the city and is the first new public space to be opened in the centre since Exchange Square was reopened 17 years ago.
Named after, and inspired by James Sadler, a balloonist, chemist and pastry chef who made the first manned balloon flight from Manchester in 1785, it aims to celebrate the spirit of innovation that runs through Manchester’s history.
Sadler’s Yard is also one of the first public spaces in Britain to be named through an online crowd-sourcing initiative after members of the public were invited to suggest names for the site via social media.
The opening kicks off a number of events at Sadler’s Yard, including The Grub Food Fair, which takes place on Saturday 5 December, 12-8pm.
David Pringle, Director of NOMA at The Co-operative Group, said: “Sadler’s Yard is the public heart of the NOMA neighbourhood and will sit at the centre of a range of beautifully restored heritage buildings and newly created office, retail and leisure space.
“It will change the way people move around this part of the city centre - opening up the streets and forming a gateway through NOMA. It will also forge great links for the Northern Gateway regeneration plans taking shape in the Lower Irk Valley, New Cross and Collihurst.
It’s a new city space with an old city feel, and we hope the people of Manchester enjoy spending time here.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:“High quality public realm spaces, that are versatile and attractive, and that can bring people and communities together, are crucial in any modern city. As Manchester grew, there was little public space available for residents, and so it is with great celebration that we can now unveil this new square.”
“Sadler’s Yard will be a true refuge in the heart of the city – providing a new walk-way through the city and a backdrop to some of the incredible development and restoration work planned across NOMA’s 20 acre site – and I hope the space becomes a gateway for residents coming from the north of the city.”
Ben Tolhurst, Asset Manager at Hermes Investment Manager, said: “With Sadler’s Yard, we’re not just creating premium public realm for the community to enjoy, we’re looking to unlock a new route through the city centre, which can enhance value for locals, business and people coming to live here.”
The new city square is being delivered by NOMA and Manchester City Council and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund. It has been designed by landscape architects Planit-IE, and constructed by The Casey Group.