Manchester City Council

The Council & democracy Town Hall transformation

Work we've planned

Designed by architect Alfred Waterhouse, the building opened on 13 September 1877. It now needs work to bring it up to modern access and safety standards, while preserving its rich heritage. The work undertaken will also improve access, allowing visitors to move around the building more easily, while also increasing the visibility of some of the Town Hall’s many treasures.

During the course of the work we will create many exciting opportunities, including apprenticeships and a range of jobs and training schemes. Owing to the scale of the project, many specialist contractors will be required from 2019 onwards.

Town Hall

The Town Hall will be repaired and upgraded to modern safety and accessibility standards, including new lifts and welfare facilities. Detailed specialist survey work has been undertaken to assess the condition of the building and the scope of work necessary to safeguard it for current and future generations, and to ensure it can continue to play a key role at the heart of the city’s life. 

The work will include structural repairs, including stained glass windows, ensuring that all fixtures and fittings are fully working and restored throughout. Significant work will be carried out to improve the Town Hall’s electrics, plumbing, heating, ventilation and lift installations. External repairs are needed to the roof, stonework and drains. 

In addition, the project includes the repair, restoration and conservation of key historic features, including all the State Rooms, the famous Great Hall and its Ford Madox Brown murals, and the Lord Mayor’s suite.

Albert Square

There are plans to renovate, resurface and improve Albert Square as a public space and popular meeting place. The square is an extremely busy focal space within the city. As well as being a popular place for public reflection, it plays host to many local, national and international events throughout the year, such as victory parades and the Christmas Market.

During the refurbishment of the Town Hall, there will be times when the square needs to be closed to the public to enable certain types of work to be done.

Access to the site once work has started

Although the Town Hall will be closed to the public during the refurbishment, the public will be invited to view progress at different stages of the renovation. In addition, a visitor space housing information about the project will be created. Some historic items such as sculptures and commemorative plaques will be made available for public display in alternative venues across the city.

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