Mayfield: The 1910 train station, 1970 parcel depot then derelict building set for regeneration

If you’ve ever waited on platform 14 of Manchester Piccadilly station, you’ve probably noticed Mayfield Depot, an old red-brick building with a bright pink advert for Tango emblazoned on it and out-of-date club night and gig posters pressed into the bricks.

The derelict train station is in the process of receiving a new lease of life, with its controversial regeneration project beginning to take shape.

It’s now hosting the popular street food fair GRUB each weekend, and there are plans to extend to a permanent street food market (taking inspiration from places like London’s Boxpark), along with an events space and a community garden.

Mayfield now also proudly displays an eye-catching, large-scale art installation named ‘Everything is Connected’.

The piece features the very same words rendered in 250 light bulbs by acclaimed contemporary British artist Peter Liversidge.

It’s described as “representing both the spirit of partnership bringing forward a new vision for the former industrial site” and it’s hoped that it will “stimulate conversation, interest and curiosity about the site” as Mayfield undergoes a “soulful transformation”.

But Mayfield Depot hasn’t always been the contemporary cultural space it’s currently transforming into.

In 1910, Mayfield opened as a train station and remained this way for 50 years, despite suffering bombing during World War II in 1940. After closing in 1960, it became a parcel depot in 1970 after ten years of disuse which gave it its still-used name Mayfield Depot.

Once again, Mayfield closed again sixteen years later and has not taken on a new purpose since, aside from a new, rather different life as an indoor Go-Karting track.

Mayfield has also made its way onto our TV screens, making appearances in Prime Suspect and as a double for Sheffield’s rail station in The Last Train.

In 2013, there was the controversial proposal to transform it into a huge nightclub that would play host to Manchester’s famous Warehouse Project, a seasonal series of club nights. However, after protest, these plans were dropped.

Fast forward to today, and around £850m is going to be invested into Mayfield – not just the depot building itself, but the 24-acre site surrounding it.

This investment will preserve and enhance its iconic heritage assets and create new commercial, residential and leisure facilities, transforming the area into “a distinctive new urban quarter”.

It seems that finally, Mayfield is being reborn as something fresh, new and exciting, and the symbolic ‘Everything is Connected’ installation is just the beginning. 

Image courtesy of CityCo Manchester via Twitter, with thanks.

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