Withington Village is set to undergo exciting transformations, with plans for a new public square and improved pedestrian areas. The proposals were introduced as part of the Withington Village Draft Framework, which received widespread support from the local community.
The first project, Rutherford Place, aims to create a stunning public space that serves as the gateway to Withington Village. This space will enhance the surroundings of Withington Library and other heritage buildings, offering visitors a place to relax and enjoy the high street. The square may also be utilized for events, public art displays, or by local businesses.
To ensure a tranquil and green atmosphere, Rutherford Place will be mostly pedestrianized. A rain garden will be introduced to provide lush greenery and prevent flooding, creating a beautiful space under the shade of trees. The goal is to make Rutherford Place accessible to people of all ages while preserving its historical charm.
The second project focuses on Copson Street, where a pedestrian-first approach will be implemented. This area will be transformed into an attractive and safe space for the community to gather, including hosting markets and small events. Although a full pedestrianization was initially considered, feedback from local businesses led to adjustments. The road will be narrowed and traffic-calming measures, such as chicanes, will be introduced. On-street parking will be removed to widen the footpath, creating a tree-lined public space with seating. Special drainage systems and tree pits will prevent local flooding, and delivery vehicles will have restricted access.
These interventions aim to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment in both Rutherford Place and Copson Street. The public is encouraged to participate in the consultation process, which includes in-person drop-in events at Withington Library and online sessions.
Funding for these projects will come from Manchester’s share of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, highlighting the city’s commitment to investing in and improving local communities. Manchester’s allocation exceeds £5 million, with similar projects underway in various district centers across the city.
Councillor Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development, expressed the importance of community involvement in shaping the future of Withington Village. He emphasized the desire to make the village a prominent destination in south Manchester and encouraged locals to share their thoughts on the emerging plans.
The consultation period for these projects will remain open until February 19, 2024.