Greengate Square

A new footbridge spans the Irwell linking Victoria Street and the Cathedral with a former car park on the Salford side of the river.  In early 2013 (certainly not April 2012 as projected) this space opened as a new public domain called Greengate Square.  The e-architect website reported the plans to create this space in 2008, "Whitelaw Turkington and Arup have been appointed as designers of the public spaces at Exchange Greengate in Central Salford. The 13-hectare, mixed-use development will create a new urban quarter linking the cities of Salford and Manchester, with a stunning public realm at its heart."

The Salford Council website says of the development that, " The new square is a public space capable of hosting events, concerts and markets. The new amphitheatre in Greengate Square creates a natural space to gather, while the beacons can create spectacular light and mist displays - and the 36 coloured fountains can be programmed to suit every activity at the square."

An article in the Manchester Evening News on March 6, 2013, reported that, " Salford city mayor Ian Stewart said: “The opening of this magnificent square is just the first step in regenerating the historic Greengate area, bringing huge investment and jobs for the people of Salford. 'Greengate Square will be an icon of our proud city and a central point for creativity as it kick-starts commercial activity in the area.' Potential developers, investors, funders and residents were invited to the square's launch to learn more about the project and future plans."


Below are some images of the project during the construction phase.  At the bottom of the page you will find a history of the site.


October 13, 2011


April, 2012


Here is a little background on the site of this new public realm.

One of my childhood memories, as a trainspotter and holiday maker who occasionally visited Exchange Station, is of a clutch of green buses congregated in a bus station beside the River Irwell.  Salford's Victoria Bridge Bus Station sat on a plot of land bounded by the Irwell, Victoria Bridge Street, Chapel Street and the approach ramp to Exchange Station.

The image above is shown with the generous permission of Joseph McGarraghy

In the 1840s, before Exchange Station existed, the site was occupied by the Red Lion Inn and a Woollen Cloth Hall

By the 1880s Exchange Station was in place and the approach ramp, called Cathedral Approach,  now defined the northeastern boundary of the site.  Among the occupants of the site were J. S. Morris & Son's Oil Works and Sutton-Holmes & Co Leather Goods Factory.  There were also shops, a restaurant, stables and a smithy.

At some point these buildings were demolished to make way for the bus station that you can see in the aerial photograph below, shown with the permission of English Heritage.

1.  Exchange Station  2.  Manchester Cathedral   3. Victoria Bridge Bus Station   4.  River Irwell

In this atmospheric photograph taken in 1955 by Joseph McGarraghy, and shown here with his generous permission, you can see the bus station in operation on a snowy day.

I believe that the Victoria Bridge Bus Station closed in the 1970s but was revived once again, on a temporary basis, during the reconstruction of the Shudehill Interchange. 


Today the view shown at the top of this page has changed.  Exchange Station has been gone for a long time.

The bus station became a car park before work began on this new development.