Manchester

Peterloo memorial rethink amid disability access anger

Jeremy Deller Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jeremy Deller said he was 'chastened' by the complaints about wheelchair access

The artist who designed a monument to the Peterloo massacre victims has been forced to amend the project after complaints about disability access.

Councillors in Manchester approved an amended plan to accommodate wheelchairs at the memorial, close to where pro-democracy campaigners were killed.

Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller said he was "chastened" after learning about the disability issues.

The 200th anniversary of the massacre will be marked in August.

People complained there was no wheelchair access to the stepped memorial near the Manchester Convention and Conference Centre.

Image copyright Jeremy Deller/Caruso St John Architects
Image caption The stepped monument will have improved wheelchair access

Councillors heard from activist Morag Rose who said: "I did not want to be objecting, but you cannot have a memorial to people who died for democracy if disabled people do not have access. This is about equality."

Dr Rose and others raised the access issue with Deller during the consultation process.

Deller said: "I have to say I was chastened and quite moved by what I was told - it really affected me quite profoundly.

"Even though we can't make a drastic redesign we can improve wheelchair access."

Planning officials said they were happy with the amended plans.

It is hoped the memorial will be ready for the 200th anniversary of the massacre on 16 August.

At least 11 people were killed and 400 were injured when a troop of sabre-wielding cavalrymen charged into a huge workers' protest in Manchester.

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