Milestone for ‘thriving beacon’ Mayfield as visitor numbers surge past one million


Mayfield’s emergence as a go-to destination in Manchester city centre has been confirmed after visitor numbers surged past one million since autumn 2019.

After decades of decline and being hidden in plain sight, Mayfield is now a must-visit attraction every week for thousands of families, foodies and music lovers, thanks to a diverse programme of events and activations taking place in and around Depot Mayfield, the atmospheric former parcel depot at Mayfield.

Working with the Mayfield Partnership, which is delivering a 10-year £1.5bn regeneration project at the 24-acre gateway sight near Piccadilly Station, events company Broadwick Live has invested significantly in the Depot since 2019, enabling it to be used for a wide range of cultural and leisure uses, including a roller disco, a seasonal ice rink, fashion shows, exhibitions and dining.

Mayfield is currently home to Escape from Freight Island, a collective of Manchester’s leading leisure operators, who have created a unique and eclectic dining experience, while thousands have flocked to electronic music events at the ever-popular Warehouse Project.

The one million visitor milestone comes ahead of a huge moment in Mayfield’s renaissance – the opening of the 6.5 acre Mayfield Park this autumn. The city centre’s first new public park in 100 years, it is expected to be a magnet for even more visitors with its stunning trees, lawns and the city’s largest children’s play area, featuring a slide over the River Medlock as its centre piece,

Mayfield Park is just the first stage of an ambitious regeneration project to transform the vast brownfield site into a stunning mixed used neighbourhood, delivering 1,500 homes, 1.6m sq ft of market-leading commercial space and 300,000 sq ft of retail and leisure facilities.

Martyn Evans, creative director at U+I, which is leading the regeneration in partnership with Manchester City Council, LCR and Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “The millionth visitor milestone is a big moment in Mayfield’s rebirth, and there’s a lot more to come for this place, which in over recent decades had become sadly run-down and overlooked.

“Ripe with untapped potential, this historic part of Manchester city centre is now starting to rise again and is already witnessing incredible collaborations in leisure, culture and hospitality. We’re thrilled to be working with some best-in-class partners in Broadwick Live and Escape to Freight Island, who have brought our vision to life, making fantastic use of the wonderful heritage assets here to reconnect Mayfield with Manchester.”

Simeon Aldred, director of Broadwick Live said: “Depot Mayfield has been built on cultural partnerships from across the city and beyond, with the whole team working hard to make the spaces welcoming and original.

“As we collectively help curate the future of Depot Mayfield, we are extremely excited to see the spaces being claimed as their own by the people of Manchester.”

Dan Morris, managing director of Escape to Freight Island continues: “We built Escape to Freight Island in the middle of the first lockdown, with a vision beyond the Pandemic to create an elevated food market and entertainment space that would be world leading for Manchester. Being part of the revival has been an incredible journey and something the team are very proud of.”

Sam Kandel, founder of The Warehouse Project added : “At the heart of the Mayfield story is music and culture and the scope and uniqueness of the venue provides a perfect home for The Warehouse Project.

Last year alone more than 300,000 people passed through our doors to enjoy our diverse programme of artists and DJs, we look forward to delivering another strong season in 2022.”

Sheona Southern, managing director at Marketing Manchester, Greater Manchester’s tourist board added: “Mayfield has risen from decay and dereliction to become a thriving beacon for Greater Manchester’s visitor economy. With the right investment Mayfield has welcomed the iconic Warehouse Project and curated brilliant new hospitality experiences at Escape to Freight Island, creating a vibrant new asset for the city-region and thousands of jobs and opportunities along the way.

“It is no surprise to see the much-loved space already welcome over one million visitors, and of course, it is only just getting started. Mayfield Park is arriving at the perfect time for a city-region whose visitor economy is well into recovery and rebuilding mode, and the park will be a fantastic new addition for both visitors and residents alike.”

In 2020, the UK Government pledged £23m of investment from its Getting Building Fund – one of the largest investments in any single project – to Mayfield Park. This investment, delivered through the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, is part of the Government’s strategy to support ‘shovel ready’ schemes that will help to drive economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis.

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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