Mayfield Park – the 6.5-acre space that has been described as a “beautifully designed and safe urban oasis” and has already been touted as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” – is part of a £1.4 billion development project in the city centre to transform the under-loved urban area between Manchester Piccadilly station and Mancunian Way, running along the River Medlock.
For years, regeneration plans for the forgotten corner of the city centre have failed to get off the ground, but the breakthrough finally came with the formation of a joint public-private venture in 2016 comprising of Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, developer LCR and regeneration specialist U+I.
This is known as The Mayfield Partnership.
Over the next 10 to 15 years, the project is expected to continue to mature, with two skyscrapers and thousands of homes, offices and commercial spaces also planned for the site.
Planning for the first phase of the Mayfield regeneration scheme – the park, two commercial buildings and a multi-storey car park – was approved in February, and the project received a further boost when it was awarded £23 million from the government’s ‘Getting Building Fund’.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wants the UK to “build, build, build” its way out of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis going forward.
The scheme one of the largest in the UK and city leaders have hailed the start of construction as a historic moment for Manchester.
Sir Richard Leese – Leader of Manchester City Council – said: “There are some development projects that have such transformational potential that we await their beginning with great anticipation.
“Mayfield is most definitely one of them.
“This part of the city centre has been under-used for decades and it’s brilliant that we can now celebrate the first shovels going in the ground on the new city park and a green sanctuary at the heart of our city – followed closely by significant investment in new commercial space and new homes.
“Mayfield is a project of exceptional ambition.
“And ambition is the very tonic we need as we navigate our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic towards economic recovery – in part through high-quality, impactful investment in our city, such as this.”
Andy Burnham – Mayor of Greater Manchester – added: “I’m so pleased to see ground broken on the Mayfield Park development.
“If we needed a reminder of the importance of accessible green spaces and the benefits they can bring for our mental and physical wellbeing, this year certainly brought one.
“A new public park can give a real lift to this part of Manchester, creating important new community assets and jobs. As part of a much wider vision for the city centre, it can help to boost our economic recovery and transform urban space for the people who live, work, and do business here.”
The maintenance of the park is to be carried out by The Mayfield Partnership.
The partnership’s ambition is to “ensure Mayfield Park becomes an exemplar urban public green space that endures as a safe, stimulating and sustainable place for everyone in the city long into the future”.
A Friends of Mayfield Park group will also be launched early next year to “ensure full community involvement and wide public engagement in the delivery of the park and kickstart meanwhile activities with local groups and charities as work progresses on site”.
It is hoped the majority of the park will be built within two years and could be open by early 2023.
Ben Foster reveals he’s being paid ‘literally peanuts’ to play for Wrexham AFC
We refuse to believe any UK football fan didn’t let out a little smile upon hearing the news that Ben Foster came out of retirement to re-sign for Wrexham AFC nearly 20 years on from his first spell.
The 39-year-old goalkeeper called time on his playing days at the end of last season after slowly moving towards becoming a squad player-come-YouTuber over the past few years and having already enjoyed a long and successful career.
However, following a nudge from the coach and celebrity owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, he was convinced to lace up his boots once more and the former United, Stoke, West Brom and Watford man will now be playing between the sticks at the Racecourse Ground until the end of the season.
To make things even more wholesome, the Premier League veteran has confessed that transfer talks didn’t last long, confessing on his YouTube and Spotify show, the Fozcast: “To be honest, the negotiations took about five minutes”, adding that he’s been paid “literally peanuts”.
Nevertheless, Foster admitted that he doesn’t need much money after such a great career up and down the football pyramid and while “things changed a lot since [he] was last here”, he said, “it’s nice to be back” and labelled manager Phil Parkinson “top class”.
Parkinson, an EFL journeyman himself, had similarly complimentary words for the seasoned keeper, stating: “We’re delighted to welcome Ben to the club. With Rob Lainton getting injured at the weekend, it was important we had all bases covered going into the last part of the season, which this signing ensures.”
The ex-England international first played for Wrexham back in 2005 when he was loaned out by Stoke City and went on to win the EFL Trophy — his first-ever piece of silverware. Now he’s back to help them finally get out of the National League (currently three points clear at the top with a game in hand).
As for his expectations for the season, he said the goal is simple: “getting the team over the line and getting them promoted”, adding “I’m a very low-maintenance player. Just wheel me out, I’ll do a job.” Now that’s the kind of attitude we can get behind.
Speaking to talkSPORT after the sudden move, he revealed that the whole deal felt just as out of the blue for him too, detailing how he got a call from the manager after a bike ride one day and, before he knew it, he’d given them the thumbs up.
Shedding some light on his discussions with the Hollywood owners, he said that Reynolds “actually slid into [his] DMs” once the agreement had been confirmed, joking: “I’m buzzing I’ve got Ryan Reynolds in there, I ain’t even replied to him! I’ll leave him hanging for a bit!”
He went on to admit that he actually approached him first, messaging, “I used to play for Wrexham and if you’re ever available for a podcast I’d love you to come.” Thankfully, he finally responded, saying: “Mate, sorry I didn’t reply. I’ll definitely do the podcast with you, thank you for signing.”
That Deadpool episode is going to be a great watch… You can see him talking about the surprise transfer in full on his YouTube channel down below:
The GIANT £375 chocolate Easter egg that’s ‘too beautiful to eat’
One of the north’s most legendary hospitality businesses has created an Imperial Easter Egg, and the effort that goes into crafting it is wild.
Coming in at 10kg, 22 inches tall, and £375, Bettys enormous chocolate treat shows off a whole lot of artistry.
The iconic tearoom, which has sites across Yorkshire, has shared the behind-the-scenes video to its TikTok page, drumming up almost half a million views.
The mouth-watering video shows first milk chocolate being hand-painted onto a chocolate egg-shaped mould to create the Easter egg’s beautiful textured appearance, The Hoot reports.
Then layer after layer of melted chocolate is poured in from a chocolate tap, before being trimmed and tidied.
Bettys, which has tearooms across Harrogate, York, and Leeds, uses the finest Swiss Grand Cru chocolate for its imperial Easter egg, and every bit that’s trimmed away is melted down to reuse elsewhere.
Then a pastry chef at the tearoom will spend up to an hour PER EGG piping on the ornate decorations, carefully piping on coloured white chocolate stems and ferns.
Then colourful royal icing flowers are placed on its surface, each one again hand-piped by their cake decorators.
The end result is a whopping Spring-time masterpiece covered in shades of green, yellow and purple.
Bettys Imperial Easter Egg weighs in at a massive 10kg and stands at 22 inches tall.
Bettys says: “Celebrating the creativity and craft that makes Bettys unique, our handmade Imperial Easter eggs continue a tradition stretching back more than a century, when our founder Frederick Belmont designed eggs which were ornately embellished with hand-piped icing designs.
“Containing over five kilos of Grand Cru Swiss chocolate made from prized Venezuelan criollo cocoa beans, the Imperial Egg is a true work of art, showcasing the highest skills of our chocolatiers and cake decorators.
“Each Imperial Egg carries an array of delicate, individually crafted spring blooms and foliage including primroses, narcissi and pansies, with hand-piped stems as a final perfect touch.
“Our Imperial Easter Egg is made to order and is only available for collection from one of our Yorkshire shops.”