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Castlefield Viaduct: Sky park to open on 30th July

Categories: Latest News

A "sky park" on a viaduct will open in Manchester city centre this month after five months of construction.

Up to 3,000 plants have been bedded in along the Castlefield Viaduct for a pilot project with the National Trust.

The venue is set to open on 30 July for a year, but visitors are required to book one of 100 free spaces that will be available daily.

The Castlefield Forum said it comes after "many months in the planning and even more years of dreaming".

Organisers hope to extend the £1.8m project permanently, depending on funding and public feedback.

Duncan Laird, head of urban places at the National Trust, said:

“ We will be keenly listening to visitor feedback that we will use to shape the ongoing evolution of the viaduct - we're at the start of the journey, not the end.

The conservation charity says it will need to raise more funds to enable the permanent presence of the park on the Victorian structure, which was built in 1892 by Heenan and Froude, the engineers who worked on Blackpool Tower.

Hilary McGrady, director general of the National Trust, said:

“ The idea of transforming the viaduct has been around for a while, but it was always put in the 'too hard to achieve box' and set aside.

“ The trust hopes the project will boost urban access to nature and says a section has been left untouched to "provide a sense of how nature has reclaimed the space since the site closed in the late 1960s.

Four garden plots have been allocated to the Science and Industry Museum and the organisations City of Trees, Castlefield Forum and Urban Wilderness.

They will reflect Manchester's industrial past and botanical heritage.

The park has been mainly funded by Postcode Earth Trust and public donations.

Article orginally published by BBC News

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