Work begins on Manchester’s Castlefield Viaduct Park

A National Trust-led project to convert a disused railway bridge in central Manchester into a £20million public realm is now underway. 

Abandoned and left derelict for the past 50 years, one of North West England’s most prominent pieces of transport infrastructure is being given a new lease of life as work begins to transform the 330-metre Castlefield Viaduct into parkland. 

The initiative is being overseen by the National Trust, with teams from MC Construction engaged at the central Manchester site. The first phase of  development will see around half the bridge redesigned, with trees, plants, and other natural elements introduced, providing a green contrast to the rusting wrought iron structure originally built in 1892 and closed when Manchester Central Station – now Manchester Central Convention Complex – was taken out of service in 1969.

Proposals for the new Castlefield Viaduct Park were originally approved last year, and include a number of key features. Aside from a welcome kiosk, where guided walking tours will start and stop, three looped cycle routes, a secret garden filled with modular planters and timber platforms, customisable event space, and compost toilets form part of the masterplan. 

The first stage of work is set to be completed and open to the public by summer 2022. In related news, last month Manchester City Council confirmed a funding package of £200m to tackle climate change and make the urban environment greener, including the 6.5acre Mayfield Park, close to Piccadilly Railway Station. 

Image credit: Valentin Petkov


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