Manchester City Council

22 May memorial design quest gets under way

A search to find designers for the memorial for the 22 May 2017 Manchester Arena attack will be launched on Friday 17 May.

The tender process is inviting suitably qualified design and creative teams to set out their approach to the memorial, which remembers the 22 people killed in the attack and those who were injured or otherwise affected.

Key principles guiding the memorial are set out in a creative brief which says it must:

-          Recognise those affected and honour those who died

-          Create a place for long-term remembrance for people to pay their respects

-          Celebrate the lives of those who were killed and happy memories of them

-          Be a place of contemplation

-          Educate and enlighten

-          Be able to meet the need for individual solitude

These principles were arrived at following conversations with the bereaved families, as well as seeking the views of people who were injured and the general public.

A location for the planned memorial was chosen by the Manchester Memorial Advisory Group, an independent body made up of civic and business leaders leading on the development of the memorial, again in discussion with the families. The site is between Manchester Cathedral and Chetham’s School of Music, at the foot of Fennel Street and close to the Arena within the city’s Medieval Quarter. It is bounded by the River Irwell and Cathedral, a light and open space close to existing trees.

Manchester’s Medieval Quarter is currently undergoing wider regeneration which will see a new public area created along the River Irwell, extending the space at Cathedral Gardens and creating a green and calm backdrop to the planned memorial.

The brief says that the commissioned memorial must create a tranquil environment for reflection and be suitably integrated into the setting of the proposed public open space, acting as a focal point for it.

Malcolm Press, chair of the Manchester Memorial Advisory Group, said: “The views of the families who have lost loved ones have been, and will continue to be, right at the heart of our work.

“Getting to this point has involved a careful process which we have sought to make as thorough and inclusive as possible to ensure an appropriate and enduring memorial. This is an important milestone on that journey.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This memorial will be dedicated to those who lost their lives, a place where families can remember their loved ones and others can pay their respects. Manchester will never forget.

“It will also be a memorial to all those affected by the attack and a reminder of the unified community spirit, the triumph of love over hatred, which characterised the city’s response to the terrible events of 22 May 2017.

“We look forward to hearing the ideas of designers and will continue to consult with the bereaved families as plans progress.”

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