Our City… Our Town Hall

Our involvement in the repair, refurbishment and restoration of Manchester Town Hall has opened up numerous opportunities for us to share the delights of such a stunning Grade I listed building.

This civic building was built to serve the people of Manchester, and it is a pleasure to be able to tell others about its treasures and stories. Most recently, our Client Manchester City Council invited a group of 11 school and college pupils from across Manchester to spend a week at the Town Hall. During their visit they explored its current use and gained an insight into the many consultant roles involved in undertaking such an important heritage project. 

After touring the building from the top of the clock tower to the basements and inner courtyards, the students were introduced to the various professions that work together to realise redevelopment projects of this scale and complexity. Mace Project Managers,  Purcell Architects, Arup MEP and Lighting Engineers, Ramboll Civil and Structural Engineers, Faithful & Gould Quantity Surveyors and Intrusive Surveyor Contractors Conlon Construction, each led interactive workshops that gave the pupils a taste and greater appreciation of career opportunities within the built environment and construction industry. 

As Landscape Architects for the project, Planit-IE led a tour of Albert Square and a series of projects within the Civic Quarter. Shots of the civic space and building were taken by the students during Landscape Architect Matt Stirton’s mini photography masterclass. These were then used to construct social media posts under the guidance of Manchester City Council’s Communications group. This was a hands-on opportunity to try out aspects of real work-life tasks and see how various professions work together as a co-ordinated team. 

At the end of the week, the students were presented with certificates by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor June Hitchen. Two of the pupils involved were Friedon Najafi and Monika Miroslavova. 

Monika said “This has been an amazing experience. The week has opened my eyes to the opportunities available and helped me to look forward into the future. We learned about different aspects of construction, like engineering and architecture and it helped me a lot in following my dreams to become an architect.” 

Friedon said “I greatly benefitted from the week at the Town Hall, as it has completely broken down all stereotypes I had of construction and made me think differently about the opportunities it could offer me. My favourite feature is the Great Hall, as it reveals the deep heritage of Manchester.”

The deputy leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Nigel Murphy, said “One of Our Town Hall project’s major goals is to maximise social value for the city by creating jobs, work experience and training opportunities for Manchester people, so it’s great to know that the children enjoyed their activities and gained inspiration for their future career decisions.” 

This was one event that Manchester City Council, Planit-IE and the Our Town Hall team has been involved in. It is part of a wider programme of community engagement enabling Manchester’s citizens to be involved in the project, and to bring an appreciation of the Town Hall to the future generations it will serve.