Manchester Albert Square to become 'place of international significance'

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image copyrightManchester City Council
image captionNew artist impressions show how the £13m project could expand the area in front of the town hall

Council plans to make a Manchester square a place of "international significance" by pedestrianising the roads around it have been submitted.

New pictures show how the £13m project could expand Albert Square, which lies in front of the town hall, by 20%.

The extra space would be created by stopping vehicles using the roads around the square and only allowing traffic on the Princess Street side.

The plans are expected to be considered by the planning committee in December.

image copyrightManchester City Council
image captionExtra space could be created by pedestrianising the roads around the square

The planned expansion is part of a major council project to restore the adjacent Grade I-listed Manchester Town Hall, which is due to be completed in 2024.

A council spokesman said improvements would see the area become more accessible, with the removal of temporary concrete barriers and the addition of better lighting.

He said the scheme aims to make Albert Square "a place of international significance, pride and influence" and provide a "beautiful and befitting setting" for the town hall.

image captionManchester's Town Hall was closed in 2017 to allow a £330m refurbishment to take place

Albert Square has regularly hosted major events, including the Manchester International Festival, the Great CityGames and the city's annual Christmas markets.

Councillor Nigel Murphy said the square was "the heart of Manchester", adding that the plans "will put it among the very finest international public spaces, combining Victorian grandeur with modern facilities".

Manchester's Victorian town hall was closed in 2017 to enable a £330m refurbishment to take place.

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