Gar­dens plan for city cen­tre would cel­e­brate Man­cu­nium

Wilmslow Express - - NEWS -

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

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