Plans for a permanent memorial to the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena bombing have been recommended for approval.
The Glade of Light will provide a place of ’remembrance and reflection’ for friends and relatives of those who tragically lost their lives on May 22, 2017.
A white stone ring halo near Manchester Cathedral will contain a personalised memory capsule behind the names of their loved ones, which will be inscribed in bronze.
The memorial could be built in time for the next anniversary of the Arena attack, subject to planning permission which is expected to be granted on January 20.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester council, said in September: “Manchester will never forget those who lost their lives on 22 May 2017 and everyone so deeply affected by the terrible events that night.
“This memorial promises to be a beautiful tribute to them, a place for remembrance and reflection and a lasting part of the fabric of our city.”
Surrounding the memorial will be a tranquil garden made of plants and flowers that grow naturally in the British countryside which will be changed with the passing seasons.
The memorial will be situated near Manchester Cathedral once it receives planning permission
Trees will also be positioned to ensure the garden gets as much sunlight as possible in order for the ‘living memorial’ to flourish.
A new public square is also planned outside the entrance to the Manchester Cathedral to provide opportunities for civic and ceremonial events.
The Glade of Light will be built between the Grade I listed building and Chetham’s School of Music at the junction of Fennel Street and Victoria Street.
Manchester council remains in negotiations with Chetham’s over leasing land freed up by the demolition of the Palatine Building for the memorial garden.
While supportive of the memorial the school says the potential for crime in the area has been ‘underestimated’, while also raising concerns about the safety of its medieval wall.
Chetham’s School of Music
A statement included within the planning committee report says: “The unlawful activities in Cathedral Gardens – drug dealing, graffiti, muggings for example – which are not prevented by the use of CCTV, police attendance at sporadic times, and antisocial behaviour orders are likely to be replicated in the new public realm areas.
“The safety of the School’s students is of the utmost importance and we would require more measures to be taken to provide a guaranteed level of security in the area.
“There is concern that once people can approach the wall, they will climb the security planting, graffiti it, and may commit crimes.
“When the crimes do occur, we would require the council to properly and effectively repair any damage caused at the council’s expense.”
No other objections have been made against the proposals, which have been designed by BCA Landscape and Smiling Wolf.
The contractors made several changes to the memorial’s original design after a public consultation raised issues around accessibility.