Picture courtesy of Matthew Hartley\Flickr
Plans to rejuvenate Piccadilly Gardens will make it the beating heart of Manchester, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle says.
Jim was speaking following a meeting of a special taskforce set up to improve the Gardens. Jim sits on the taskforce alongside Manchester’s city centre spokesperson Councillor Pat Karney, police representatives, business leaders and council officials.
The taskforce has been set up to respond to public concerns about safety in the Gardens and surrounding areas, particularly at night, and its overall look and feel.
Speaking after a visit to Piccadilly Gardens with the taskforce, Jim said: “We hope to create a new vision for Piccadilly Gardens that will transform it into the beating heart of Manchester.
“I welcome the opportunity to work with the city council and partner agencies to revive the gardens and the surrounding areas. Piccadilly Gardens should be a destination for shoppers, families, businesses and visitors to enjoy that is the pride and joy of all Mancunians.
“As these plans take shape, visitors and residents should start to see a real change in the Gardens. And I will be working closely with the council and GMP to make sure that public concerns about safety are addressed immediately. For example, concerns have been expressed about drug dealing in the Gardens and I want to make clear that this will not be tolerated.”
Cllr Karney added: “Myself and the deputy commissioner will be making regular visits to the Gardens to ensure that any complaints about public safety are being taken seriously and are being addressed.”
Work has already taken place to improve the Gardens. The famous concrete wall was given a fresh look ahead of last weekend’s Manchester Day celebrations and featured a mural of Gilly the Globefish; the lawns have been reseeded and a new children’s play area has opened.