Consultation calls for local people’s feedback on public space in Withington Village

  • Wednesday 24 January 2024

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Computer image of the proposals for the new pedestrian first public space in Withington Village

Government funding has been secured to upgrade two public spaces in Withington Village and local residents and businesses can now have their say on the proposals.

The two locations include the creation of a new public square at Rutherford Place and works to upgrade and give priority to pedestrians on Copson Street.  

The projects were highlighted as opportunities within the Withington Village Draft Framework in 2020, which received broad public support following consultation in the local community.  


Rutherford Place – new public square 

The vision is for a new public space at the gateway to Withington Village and to create an improved setting for Withington Library and other local heritage buildings.  

The space would provide opportunities for visitors to spend more time on the high street, which could also be used for events, by businesses themselves or for public art.

Rutherford Place would be mostly pedestrianised and would welcome a new rain garden that would provide new greenery and help prevent flooding, while separating the public space from the road, providing a new green space under tree shade.  

The aim is to make Rutherford Place somewhere where people of all ages use, while maintaining its historic setting. 


Copson Street – pedestrian first  

The proposals will create a pedestrian priority area with attractive and safe spaces, which will be age friendly, and where the community can gather – including hosting markets and other small events. 

Originally the intention was to explore a full pedestrianisation of the space, as well as removing loading bays, but following engagement with local businesses, this approach was deemed unfeasible due to deliveries and access for customers.  

However, to allow a pedestrian first approach, the road would be narrowed and chicaned to slow and manage traffic. On-street parking has also been removed, widening the footpath to create a tree-lined public space with seating. 

New drainage and specialist tree pits will prevent local flooding, and delivery vehicles will be limited to certain times and vehicles will be restricted to access only.  

Each intervention is designed to create a more pedestrian friendly environment. 

The consultation is open now 

In-person drop in events and online sessions will also take place: 

  • In-person Wednesday 7 February from 4pm to 7pm at Withington Library  
  • On-line on Thursday 8 February – 6.30 to 7.30pm (email to receive a link to the meeting) 


The consultation will be open until Monday 19 February 2024.  

This investment will be funded through Manchester’s allocation of the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which has been provided to invest in and improve local communities.  

Manchester’s full allocation will extend to more than £5m with projects underway in district centres across the city – including Moston Lane, Gorton, Cheetham Hill, Harpurhey, Newton Heath and Strangeways. 


Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development, said:  

“We have been working with the community in Withington for some time on a neighbourhood plan that will help the Village be a real south Manchester destination - and we really value the input from locals so far, including the Withington Village Regeneration Partnership who have been instrumental in driving the ambitions for the neighbourhood. 

“The UKSPF investment pot has allowed us to kick-start some of the investment in the Village starting with these two projects that aim to create a much more pedestrian-friendly – and to encourage people to stay and enjoy the high street for longer.  

“This is the opportunity for local people to give their thoughts on these emerging plans and help guide the future of their district centre.” 


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