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Save Library Walk Event: Tuesday 11 September

Come along and help save this wonderful city space

Published on September 6th 2012.

Save Library Walk Event: Tuesday 11 September

CAMPAIGNERS opposed to the proposed redevelopment of Manchester’s Library Walk will host a celebration of the unusual walkway on Tuesday 11 September. 

The purpose of our group is to celebrate and cherish this very special public space which belongs to everyone in Manchester

The public gathering will celebrate what the Friends of Library Walk consider one of Manchester’s most distinctive and best-loved urban spaces, and draw attention to what they feel are harmful plans for its development, in the run-up to a planning decision by Manchester City Council in October. 

Library Walk is a pedestrian walkway between St. Peter’s Square and Mount Street in Manchester city centre.  Its distinctive curved shape is formed by the interlocking of Grade-II* listed buildings Manchester Central Library and the Town Hall Extension, both created by the celebrated architect  E. Vincent Harris in the 1930s.   

1200 people have already signed a petition to protest plans drawn up by Beetham Tower architect Ian Simpson, as part of the refurbishment of the two buildings and St Peter’s Square, which would gate and glaze the passage and make it inaccessible for eight hours each night. 

Raising the pavement, ruining building lines and blocking Library WalkRaising the pavement, ruining building lines and blocking Library Walk

Confidential dissected the proposed scheme earlier this year and found it absurd. You can read that article here

The celebration event is open to all and will begin at 6pm in Piccadilly Gardens, from where a walking procession will cross the city centre via Albert Square to the Peace Gardens.

Musicians will accompany the event, which will also feature talks from experts and local figures who are passionate about the threatened space. Jonathan Schofield, the Manchester Confidential editor, will be speaking during the meeting. 

Tom Hiles of the Friends of Library Walk said, “The purpose of our group is to celebrate and cherish this very special public space which belongs to everyone in Manchester, and our campaign has always been a positive one. This event will be a chance for everyone who loves Library Walk to come together and share stories and thoughts about it, and the issues surrounding the council’s proposed plans. 

“Holding a celebration will provide the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the strength of people’s passion and concern for Library Walk. We want to see loads of people turn out to send the strongest possible message from the public to the council: that Library Walk is perfect as it is and that the plans are unnecessary and a waste of money.” 

More details of the Friends’ campaign can be found at friendsoflibrarywalk.wordpress.com.  

Everyone is welcome to join the celebration event, and any musicians, performers or passionate advocates of the walkway who would like to take part are invited to get touch via the website. 


Lovely as it is - just improve the lightingLovely as it is - just improve the lighting


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18 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Jeremy SmithSeptember 6th 2012.

A shame that the Friends chose the 11th, the same evening Ian Simpson, Cityco & a lot of the Manchester Property industry are meeting elsewhere.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 6th 2012.

What difference do you think that makes, Jeremy? Do you really reckon anyone involved in the proposals would attend this event?

DavidSeptember 6th 2012.

To describe it as a special public space is ridiculous,it's just a space between the library and Town Hall.There does not seem much point in the new entrance bult across it,but it's not any great loss either way.

It's these small,relatively unimportant things and certainly economically insignificant that seen able to motivate the concern of Mr Schofield and Manchester Confidential.Yet at the same time Manchester council wants to dilute its ownership of MAG to fund investment in London transport,namely Buying Stansted Airport.One cannot imagine Boris Johnson,choosing to sell part ownership of any of London's transport assets to fund investment in Metrolink or Manchester Airport.If Manchester council wants to dilute its ownership,it should be to invest in Manchester Airport which is crying out for new investment in better and more terminal buildings.This is a much more important issue for the future of Manchester.But is clearly of no interest to this website management,who choose not to discuss or raise any questions about it.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidSeptember 6th 2012.

If it bothers you that much, why not start your own news website, or at least contact JS to suggest it would be worth covering?

Or maybe you've mistaken what this website is mainly about - maybe you're confusing it with the business section of the MEN? Food, drink, leisure, architecture, culture, property - that's Man Con in the most part, if you've not noticed...

Calum McGSeptember 7th 2012.

I think you'll find plenty of people care about the Library Walk, David. If you're so bothered about the airport issue, where is your campaign so we can sign up?

DavidSeptember 7th 2012.

Manchester Airport is the largest publicly owned building in Greater Manchester,and Airports certainly qualify as being important architecture and being property.All of which this website covers.
Also if you criticised your health treatment,you would not be expected to be told,"To set up your own if not happy",the same with schools,restaurants etc.In this city we have few media outlets,so they should reflect the plurality of opinion and not just the interests of the editor alone.

GimboidSeptember 7th 2012.

"if you criticised your health treatment,you would not be expected to be told,"To set up your own if not happy" "

That's because I pay for health treatment with my taxes and because I'm not a doctor. Man Con on the other hand is completely free, so you've got no right to tell the editors what to write, whilst any old cretin can set up a local news website, even someone as obviously clueless as you. So no, they're not comparable at all.

AnonymousSeptember 11th 2012.

Just choked on my soup, Gimboid. Thanks for making my day :)

Trevor JestSeptember 6th 2012.

To describe this as anything other than a very special public space would be asinine. To then put it in relation to things happening at Manchester Airport is even moreso. They are not the same issue and just because you choose to highlight the one doesn't devalue the other. Maybe you should be the editor then all the correct targets would be identified eh?

JanineSeptember 7th 2012.

Save Library Walk it's lovely

paulsouthernSeptember 7th 2012.

The link to friends of library walk in the article doesn't work. This does http://friendsoflibrarywalk.wordpress.com/

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldSeptember 7th 2012.

It does now Paul

trinityboySeptember 7th 2012.

Whatever the positive aspects of the proposal may be (I'm trying to be open-minded, there could be some, surely - maybe?) then they should be discussed and debated openly and clearly. Instead, this feels like we're being bounced into a major change on the sly, whilst the walk is temporarily closed.

One of the many reasons I support the Friends of Library Walk.

AnonymousSeptember 12th 2012.

when was the last time the space was used for any kind of social event/ gathering (as you would expect of such a cherished social space?), particularly after dark? i may be wrong, so please feel free to correct me, but i can't think of anything. the key events that seem to take place there (particularly after dark) are p1$$ing, vomiting, interspersed with the occasional assault. i undertsand it's an important shortcut between st peters square and st annes, and that's why it's good that it will be open in the day, but at night it's certainly not a space many people will miss. it will still be there, the new building will just make it more of a focal point during the day. at night time, for those who really need a shortcut they can use lloyd street. of all the fantastic spaces in manchester, i don't see how this can be one that is causing such a fuss. (although i admit that the new building does seem expensive).

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 24th 2012.

Nobody's called it a 'social' space. What's proposed will do NOTHING to address the problems you ascribe to Library Walk... they'll just happen elsewhere.

AnonymousSeptember 12th 2012.

So, anon, if only bad things happen there at night, isn't that a call to action to brighten it up, clean it up, light it nicely and make it welcoming? Blocking it off will mean that people might piss up against the gates, so you're unlikely to solve that problem!

AnonymousOctober 24th 2012.

Planning approval by Manchester City Council is NOT the end of the process where the public right of way is concerned at Library Walk. What the 1300 hundred people who signed the petition need to do next is to find out when the extinquishment order is to made AND PUT IN OBJECTIONS and call for a public inquiry – the matter is then taken out of the hands of Richard Leese and the Councillor’s at Manchester and will be decided by the secretary of state’s inspectors. Once the extinguishment of the footpath is advertised (which is a requirement by law) you have 28 days to object. If enough people object Library Walk might still be saved as a public right of way. Involving the Ramblers Association might be a good idea too…

1 Response: Reply To This...
Tom HilesOctober 24th 2012.

Thanks Anon, this is really useful and just what we need to know. The Ramblers are already on board!

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