Huge £ 350,000 repair project begins in one of Manchester City’s busiest squares

A £ 350,000 repair project is being worked on at one of the city’s busiest squares.

Paving stones and cobblestones will be replaced and upgraded on Exchange Square starting this week.

The Manchester Council says the scheme will be implemented in stages to minimize disruption to pedestrians, residents and businesses.

This means that a complete closure of the space will not be required.

The work is expected to be completed by the end of March.

The council said the existing paving stones and cobblestones in Exchange Square have ‘deteriorated over the years’ because it is one of the ‘most used parts of Manchester city center’.



The budget for the project is just under £ 350,000

The council said improvement areas would include – repairing and re-laying black granite on Exchange Square itself ‘as 50 per cent of the existing stone is damaged’ and minor repairs to the Yorkstone pavement on the ramp area.

It is understood that the budget for the project is £ 346,000 including parts and labor.



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In 2019, the Manchester Council spent more than £ 800,000 on replacing the water fountains in Exchange Square.

Council leaders initially signed £ 700,000 for the project, saying it was expected to take about six months.



The council spent more than £ 800,000 on replacing the fountains in 2019

But the redesign ended up exceeding the budget by more than £ 120,000 and delayed by five months due to ‘technical problems’.

It is understood that this is related to the original granite slates, which turned out to have cracks and plans needed to be revised.

Just two days after the new fountains were unveiled, they had to be closed again for ‘routine maintenance.’

The spending immediately sparked criticism from some MEN readers and the opposition Lib Dems.

This summer, downtown spokesman Pat Karney promised to hunt jokers who put soap in the fountains and drag them into court.



Jokers put soap in the new fountains over the summer

But Count Karney had to accept a defeat when it turned out that the municipality’s CCTV cameras were turning the wrong way at the time of the incident.

County Councilwoman Tracey Rawlins, chief environmental officer, said: “Exchange Square is one of the most used and reputable spaces in the city center, but it certainly needs a little care and attention.

“We hope to keep disruption to a minimum while these works take place, but hope we can rely on public understanding during their duration.”

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