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The Future of Castlefield: decline or deliverance

A Manchester Confidential debate with Cllr Pat Karney, 1 August, Brindley Room, Dukes 92.

Published on July 24th 2007.

The Future of Castlefield: decline or deliverance

Castlefield is crumbling. The extraordinary response to Phil Griffin’s 11 July article on Manchester Confidential illustrated how passionately people feel about the area.

Why should this be? Easy. In a packed city centre it offers the quiet amenity of canal-walks and gardens in spectacular ex-industrial surroundings with good pubs, restaurants and bars and a truly significant history. There’s nowhere else like it in the city. It’s the only area that offers the scale and potential to be a very Manchester version of a city centre park.

Yet three important buildings are derelict, the paths, paving and stairways are dangerous, the notice-boards wearing out and the outdoor arena scarcely used. Castlefield is looking shabby and generally uncared for apart from some areas under private ownership. This is a shame as it provides a unique amenity for Manchester recreationally and through its historical associations.

The Future of Castlefield debate will look at how this declining situation can be turned around, offering suggestions on how the area might best be used, improved and developed. The good news is that it’s not too late: all the raw ingredients are there to make a well-planned, well-maintained Castlefield a popular local resource and destination for residents, other Mancunians and tourists. But rather than a talking shop we want the debate to be the start of a process which delivers results.

We have a confirmed panel so far which includes Cllr Pat Karney from Manchester City Council, Jon Grieves of Choice Restaurant, Sharon Barnes of Castlefield Estates and writer and broadcaster Phil Griffin. The event will be chaired by Manchester Confidential’s editor Jonathan Schofield. Other speakers may be added.

The venue will be the Brindley Room in Dukes 92 in Castlefield basin on Castle Street. There will be pre-drinks at the bar from 6pm and the debate will start at 6.30pm and conclude at 8pm. The panel will each give a brief talk about their vision for Castlefield followed by questions from the audience.

Places in the first instance must be booked online here with Manchester Confidential. Please also submit a question you might like to ask the panel with your application. This is to ensure that we have a good spread of questions from a variety of interest groups. There will be time to react to the speakers thoughts as well.

To book a place and submit a question, please apply below.

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