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Square? Not these ones

Two of the city’s main squares are set to be revamped in time for this summer..

Published on February 1st 2007.

Square? Not these ones

Two of Manchester’s open spaces are about to become a whole lot sexier. Work is underway to improve the appearance of both Exchange Square and Piccadilly Gardens, which will both be looking pretty as a picture by the summer.

The lawned areas at Piccadilly Gardens, which let’s face it are looking pretty worn out at the moment, will be kept green and pleasant by an underground irrigation system, and the paths will be widened to alleviate the pressure of 28 million people a year cutting corners and trampling across the grass.

The roof of the pavilion that contains Rice and Café Nero will be improved by being planted with lots of greenery which the council hopes will attract wildlife. Hopefully they’re referring to butterflies and bumblebees, and they’re not planning to turn the gardens into a dangerous gauntlet of wild animals and beasts - although the latter would make for very entertaining lunchtime viewing from the offices in One Piccadilly Gardens.

Now if only they would do something about that wall…

Meanwhile, over at Exchange Square 348 blue LED lights are being installed across the Square, Corporation Street and the side of the Arndale, and the concrete blocks that currently dominate the square will be replaced by more natural looking granite ones.

A touch of the Mediterranean will be brought to Exchange Square in the form of three mature olive trees and four strawberry trees, which will be the source of ample nourishment for the hungry and homeless of the city.

City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: "Piccadilly Gardens and Exchange Square are much-loved public spaces and real assets to our city. We are constantly looking at ways of to make them more inviting and to function even more successfully.

"These are both high quality schemes in keeping with Manchester’s commitment to design excellence and innovation and I look forward to their completion."

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