June 2021 – Manchester, Lancashire.

Castlefield Viaduct in Manchester is to be turned into an urban park and meeting-place under plans drawn up by Highways England and The National Trust. The viaduct was built in 1892 and designed by Heenan and Froude, the engineers who worked on the Blackpool Tower. It formed part of the approach to Manchester Central Station (now the Manchester Central Convention Complex) until 1969 when the station closed. Since then the viaduct has stood unused with Highways England undertaking essential repairs and maintenance to keep it safe as part of its Historical Railways Estate portfolio. The initial plan is to open the viaduct next summer as a temporary park to test ideas and use the space to gather feedback for the viaduct’s longer-term future. To this end, the National Trust will be applying for planning permission in Autumn 2021. National Trust Head of Urban Places Duncan Laird said: “We’re delighted to be starting this project to bring new life to the viaduct. Our ambition is to give more people the opportunity to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of green, nature-rich havens on this remarkable heritage structure in the city.” (New Civil Engineer, Forgotten Relics)