The National Trust has unveiled plans to transform the Grade II listed Castlefield Viaduct into a “hidden oasis above the busy city” by building a public park on the former rail line.
The charity and heritage organisation revealed it was in the early stages of the renovation project, which aims to transform Castlefield Viaduct into a free-to-access park and meeting place – a similar concept to Manhattan’s High Line.
The National Trust said the green space would “celebrate the nature, beauty and history of the viaduct” whilst fitting in with existing plans for the city, functioning as a “stepping stone to other South Manchester green spaces and attractions on foot or bike.”
Artist projections of the renovated rail bridge show viaduct paths lined with bright plants, tall trees and bursting shrubbery.
Built in 1892, Castlefield Viaduct was used to transport heavy rail traffic in and out of Manchester Central railway station until 1969.
The former railway station has since been utilised as an events space in the form of Manchester Central Convention Complex – but the viaduct itself has stood unused and unchanged for over 50 years, with the exception of essential repairs and maintenance.
The National Trust is hoping to open to begin renovation work in the coming months and open the new green space by next summer.
In the meantime, it is assessing the safety and condition of the viaduct whilst seeking feedback from the local community and launching an application for planning permission.
Nearby residents are being invited to a series of upcoming online events due to be broadcast in June and July, with an online survey appearing from tomorrow (June 23) to July 25.
A drop-in event is also being planned for July 22 from 12-3pm at the Science and Industry Museum.
More information on the Castlefield Viaduct scheme is available online at the National Trust website.
Events are taking place online on Wednesday June 30 at 1pm, Thursday July 1 at 6pm, and Tuesday July 6 at 7pm.