Iconic but functional. Stunning design, a pleasure to work in and good value for (a lot of) money. Manchester’s new Civil Justice Centre is fabulous, and the Queen was all smiles as she performed the official opening.
Attending the official opening of the CJC was a can't miss event for what I think is the most exciting building to appear in our city in this period of renaissance.
If you've not yet seen it in person, then it's well worth a trip to Manchester's Spinningfields to feast your eyes. It's an incredible feat of architecture and engineering which in layman's terms is being popularly described as a giant filing cabinet with some of the drawers left open. It is also the largest court complex to be built in this country since the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London and the CJC is likely to retain that distinction for a long, long time.
This is exactly the sort of building that helps instil pride in our city, and reinforces our history of original and modern achievements. It is already award-winning and I'm sure there will be many architectural awards to come for this classy addition to Manchester's portfolio and unlike many award winning buildings I don't think this one will go pear-shaped in a few years.
Then it's back to the town hall to look at some options for updating the image of the City Council itself. The council has several different departments, all representing themselves in different ways to residents and visitors to the city. Sometimes you wouldn't even know that they are part of the Council. We need to be more consistent, and more professional in how the Council presents itself to the public and we need to act like and look like one organisation.