Sketch of how Copson Street in Withington could like with trees and added seating.

Withington community in favour of public square regeneration project

  • 72% of community in favour of plans
  • Large, improved square outside library
  • Wider footpaths and improved seating

A council report has revealed that the Withington community are in favour of regenerating the public square and Copson Street, as investment has been approved.

Following public consultation earlier in the year, online feedback showed that 72% ‘felt positive or very positive’ about the two proposals for Rutherford Place and Copson Street.

Rutherford Place currently, which will be regenerated to become more community focused. Credit: Thomas Why

The Proposals

At Rutherford Place, a larger and improved square will be created in front of Withington Library. Meanwhile, a wider footpath will be made on Copson Street along with enhancing the environment, making it more pedestrian friendly.

Sketch of Rutherford Place with expanded pathways, seating and greenery.
Design of how Rutherford Place could look following the regeneration of the square. Credit: Manchester City Council

While the council planned to pedestrianise Copson Street entirely, local businesses and locals were opposed to the idea.

Councillor and executive member for housing and development, Gavin White, said: “This has been incredibly useful in the thinking around the improvement schemes and shows the impact good consultation can have in guiding investment in local areas.”

He added: “Withington Village has a huge amount of potential and we will continue to work with this community to invest in and develop a high street that is the beating heart of the neighbourhood.”

Sketch of Copson Street with expanded footpaths, more seating and greenery.
Design of how Copson Street could look following expansion of pathways including outside seating. Credit: Manchester City Council

This investment comes from the £2.1m funding Manchester secured for local public realm projects in 2023.

Withington Community

In the feedback, members of the community welcomed wider footpaths, improved seating, more greenery, and limiting vehicle access.

Businesses that NQ spoke to on Copson street praised the regeneration, with more room for customers outside during those summer months.

Current view of Copson Street in Withington, with cars parked at either side and businesses down the street.
Copson Street currently, which will be revitalised to be more pedestrian friendly for the general public and businesses. Credit: Thomas Why

The reformation project of these two areas has been in close contact with the Withington Village Regeneration Partnership. Chair, Dave Payne, said: “This funding will encourage investment and regeneration and provides an opportunity to make Withington an increasingly attractive place to visit, work and shop.”

“We’d like to again encourage the Council to stretch the designs as far as possible to holistically transform these areas into shared spaces for the community,” he said.

All feedback that has been received by the council is being considered during the final design process.