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BDP to design next phase of Castlefield Viaduct Sky Park

Visitors will be able to enjoy Manchester’s sky park until autumn 2024 after the National Trust has been granted an extension to the popular Castlefield Viaduct project.


Illustrative drawings. Not final design proposals

The temporary green space, which has revitalised an unused Victorian era railway viaduct, is already a firm favourite with locals, people from across Greater Manchester and tourists visiting the city since it opened last summer, with the pilot made possible thanks to players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. 

The conservation charity also announced the appointment of a landscape architect team from BDP, which will work with the Trust, partners and the community to develop bigger, bolder plans for the next phase of the viaduct.

James Millington, Landscape Architect Director at BDP, commented: “Castlefield Viaduct is a place like no other and it is fantastic to be working with the National Trust to bring to life a vision for the space that reaches far beyond its perceived potential. Over the last year, the viaduct has become a genuine city detour that inspires a diverse range of people and ages with a range of ideas, installations, and artistic interventions. It is a landscape-led approach that creates a new city garden, breathes new life into the lungs of the city and gives us the opportunity to enhance the space for nature and beauty.

“As we develop our concepts further with the community, we know it will become a place which drives and reflects the success of Greater Manchester. We will be supercharging the attributes of this great piece of Victorian engineering to create a vibrant, people-focused experience that leaves a smile on the face of all who visit.”


Duncan Laird Head of Urban Places at the National Trust says: “We’re delighted to be staying open for another year so we can continue to provide visitors with moments of joy and build momentum to create a future for this fantastic place.  As we enter this next phase of the project, we can start to truly understand what this space could become – and how it can serve future generations. 

“This won’t happen without big investment however, and we hope BDP can help us create a vision for this space to reflect ambitious plans for the city that investors want to be part of.

“Bringing nature and beauty to the centre of urban areas is something that we are passionate about.  We want to bring more nature, beauty and history to urban areas as we know the benefits it can bring in terms of health, wellbeing, community and placemaking.”

The gardens – a mix of National Trust planting and plots designed and grown by community organisations – will remain as temporary ‘installations’ while the National Trust continues to gather feedback and fundraise in efforts to create a permanent feature on the 330-metre steel, Grade II listed, viaduct.

The seasonal displays seek to inspire visitors to contribute their ideas of what they would like the space to become in the future – through surveys and feedback chains which will carry on through the rest of 2023.