Gardens plan for city centre would celebrate Mancunium
ACAMPAIGN has been launched to create a Roman-inspired garden in Castlefield – with extra outdoor seating for pubs The Oxnoble and The White Lion.
A crowd-funding project is aiming to raise £38,000 to initially get planning permission for the Roman Garden project.
It would see the existing green area off Liverpool Road next to the White Lion, opposite the side of the Museum of Science and Industry, redesigned to create a ‘canalside’ style outdoor seating area.
Seating areas for The Oxnoble and The White Lion would be doubled in size to make more use of the space.
Better lighting would be added to make the garden a night-time venue, with raised beds holding everything from pick-yourown herbs to plants found in Roman times.
The original Roman road on site would also be picked out with a heritage trail.
The patch of land currently has some Roman ruins on show and a small number of benches but is poorly used, even in sunny weather.
The group behind the idea, Castlefield Forum, which represents local residents and businesses, has already raised £18,000 towards the project.
They need a further £20,000 in the next 75 days via crowd-funding web- site Space Hive to pay for the project to go before the council’s planning committee.
The group then estimates another £2m would be needed to create the park over three to five years.
Forum member Callum McGowan, 38, who lives in Castlefield, said: “This is not just about a lick of paint – we want to make this one of Manchester’s best public spaces.
“We have seen so many bad jobs done like Piccadilly Gardens.
“We are trying to bring a patio kind of vibe to it like at Dukes 92 or The Wharf.
“If we can raise the money for planning, we’ll then be looking at going to the Heritage Lottery Fund which is not a quick process, so we believe it could take around three to five years to complete.”
The area off Liverpool Road was originally the northern entrance to the Roman fort, known as Mamucium or Mancunium – the first settlement which eventually became Manchester.
If work does go ahead, archeological digs would also take place to uncover more of Manchester’s Roman history with the public able to take part, Castlefield Forum have said.
Go to spacehive.com/ romangardens to donate