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Manchester has opened its first city centre public park in 100 years. With its pastures another milestone for the cities green regeneration.
Mayfield Park, nestled in between Piccadilly Station and Mayfield Depot, opened its doors and realised a long-held ambition held to see the site of the birth of the industrial revolution begin a new life, as the site of Manchester’s green.
6.5 acres of land, it’s lined with 120,000 plants – 140 of which are trees, public toilets and ‘festival-grade’ turf all feature under the shadow of the ‘Depot Mayfield’ sign, visible from the Mancunian Way.
A play area will perhaps be the star of the show for many younger visitors, including seven slides, a climbing wall, balances beams, a roundabout and sunken trampolines.
The River Medlock surrounds the space which is home to several trout and one of the slides takes users over the river.
The park represents a milestone in reviving an area of town previously left behind by property developers, with the area forming part of a 25 acre neighbourhood that is being delivered by the Mayfield Partnership, a joint venture between developers “U+I” and “Manchester City Council”.
While reaction has been positive so far, many wonder if this is enough at this stage with green deprivation setting in more with every new tower added to the Manchester skyline.
This is not a fact lost upon Bev Craig, Manchester City Council leader, who told the Manchester Evening News: “Symbolically, it shows that we have 143 parks and green spaces in Manchester, and our tree coverage is [above average] but people don’t feel that in the city centre. That’s because of the nature of development in a post-industrial city.”
With the after-pandemic want for more green space, Mayfield will only fuel the need for more.