Tree planting begins in Albert Square as Town Hall transformation continues

Work has begun to install ten new trees around Albert Square as part of the long-running refurbishment of the Town Hall.  

As works have continued, the square has been dotted with circles of green tarmac emblazoned with “I’m going to be a tree” in white letters. Last week the tarmac bases were broken up and work has since started to install the trees. 

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The installation of these new trees is a visual reminder that work is progressing on the project.  

“These trees have been chosen with great care: for their quality, maturity and diversity, and their positioning on the outer edges of the square will make them a major enhancement to this world-class space.”

One of the newly installed trees on Albert Square, Manchester, with the Town Hall under scaffolding visible behind. Image Credit: Mancunian Matters

The semi-mature trees weigh around two tonnes each and will be hoisted into place by crane.  

The range will include tulip trees, Japanese maples and a Foxglove tree, which the council say have been carefully selected to fit in with other local species, and to increase biodiversity within the city centre. 

The Grade I listed Town Hall, which opened in 1877, has been closed since January 2018 so that restoration works can take place.  

But the project also includes the adjoining square, which the council are hoping to make “one of the finest civic spaces in Europe”.  

The Town Hall in 2012. Mark Andrew., CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

As well as the added greenery, new lighting columns have been installed and three of the four roads surrounding the square have been pedestrianised, meaning the square will be 20% bigger than it was before. 

Matt Stirton, Principal Landscape Architecht at Planit, said that the greener space would serve to improve air quality and support urban wildlife including honeybees.  

Mr Stirton said: “The trees will frame the newly enlarged public space for pedestrians, offering a green canopied avenue and a wonderful setting for the restored building.  

“The plans have been many years in the making, and we are excited to see these trees come into leaf and flower for the first time in their new home!”

Image Credit: Mancunian Matters & Mark Andrew via Wikimedia Commons

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