Case Study


Piccadilly Gardens Fountain

Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester

Manchester City Council
Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester
Henry Boot Construction
September 2016
January 2017
Form of Contract
NEC 3 Option A
Delivery Type
Construct only

The project involved reinstating the historic fountain at Piccadilly Gardens, which fell out of operation in May 2014 following the failure of its underground mechanisms. The repair work entailed removing the two large underground water tanks using a crane and replacing them with a single 70,000 litre concrete tank. All works were successfully completed over a twenty week period.

Working on the existing water tanks
• The huge operation required a significant amount of earth removal, to provide access to the fountain’s tanks. Repairs were also carried out in the fountain’s plant room.
• The works enabled the 180 water jets to throw water six metres into the air and be colour co-ordinated using LED lighting. The water can be turned any hue in the colour spectrum and the jets are programmable for special events.

The completed project
• Salford-based ground works and civil engineering specialist PP O’Connor removed the original water tank and cast the new concrete tank, which was secured by the pre-cast concrete roof.
• The repair work was the first stage in a £10m scheme to reinvent the area. The further proposed works include the creation of two new pavilion buildings linked by a covered public space area, along with extensive landscaping.
• Councillor Pat Karney of Manchester City Council said, “It would be easy to underestimate the massive scale of the repair project. We’ve had to dig more than ten metres below the surface to remove the huge machinery hidden under the Gardens.”
• The Gardens were reopened to the public in Spring 2017 and attracted much excitement and publicity from the local area.

‘Henry Boot have been a fantastic Principal Contractor to work with. They were able to draw on the experience of an excellent team to manage the challenges associated with a city centre, high profile project.‘ Tony Callaghan, Project Manager, Turner & Townsend