Deansgate North, Manchester

Modern parking facility retains Grade II listed railway architecture

Manchester boasts the world’s first steam passenger railway. And it is at the site of the disused Exchange railway station, which dates back to 1884, that the Q-Park Deansgate North parking facility has been constructed.

Historical importance

The site is on the bank of the River Irwell and a footbridge links Manchester and Salford. The historical setting of this brand-new facility has been preserved as the Grade II listed sandstone viaduct and railway arches have been incorporated into the construction.

The car park is ideally situated adjacent to one of the main roads bringing traffic into Manchester. Several major city attractions, including Manchester Cathedral, the National Football Museum and the Manchester Arena are just a short walk away.

Catalyst for urban regeneration

The new parking facility is part of the Embankment scheme and an important part of the regeneration of the riverbank area at the junction between Salford and Manchester. It has facilitated extending the business and retail district across the river.

The Embankment scheme consists of new offices and retail space, luxury apartments and the parking facility with 442 parking spaces. There are spaces reserved for the disabled, parents with children, and EV charging.

The redevelopment of the area and moving the car park underground has enabled the surface to be repurposed. Now it is a pedestrian area which includes an amphitheatre in Greengate Square – this is a natural space where people can gather and it forms a flexible location for recreation and open-air events.

Other schemes have been initiated now the parking facility is open, including improvements to the local road network.

Complex construction

Due to the nature of the location, the construction process was extremely sensitive and complex. The railway line that boarders the site had to remain operational and the external envelope had to be retained.

Parking facility realised within the existing structure

All this meant that demolishing the old internal structure and excavating the underground car park became a complex engineering project.

The eastern side developed into the Embankment scheme. The traditional railway arches and stonework were cleaned and repaired so visitors can appreciate the historic structure that has been retained.

Stonework was cleaned so visitors can appreciate the historic structure

A contrasting lightweight steel and glass building sits on top of the car park structure. However, the parking facility incorporates modern technology and the newest insights in car park design. These include:

  • High-speed shutters at the car entrance and door nodes, ensuring only legitimate access to the parking decks.
  • Pinhole cameras at the barriers and payment machines are connected to the CCTV surveillance system

Q-Park signature features are also present, such as:

  • connection to the Q-Park control room providing 24/7 customer service.
  • two large glass-fronted lifts accessible from the spacious, glass-fronted pedestrian hub;
  • amply-sized parking spaces denoted by black pads, enabling motorists to manoeuvre more easily;
  • energy-saving LED lighting activated by motion sensors;
  • light fittings orientated parallel to the one-way driving aisles help guide motorist through the car park;
  • brighter light at the edge of the driving aisle encouring pedestrians to walk along these well-lit paths;
  • specially allocated spaces for blue badge holders, parents with children, VIPs and EV charging;
  • payment options including contactless card payments;
  • early-bird all-day tariff, season tickets and pre-booking.

In addition, public toilets, an AED and jump leads are available, as well as free umbrella loan, a valued service in the city renowned for its rainy climate.

Serving a vast local community

The Deansgate North parking facility serves a vast local community. Residents, commuters, retail and businesses all benefit from this development, as well as those coming to the city to enjoy cultural and leisure activities.

Q-Park Deansgate North serves numerous city-centre destinations

Q-Park Deansgate North won Best New Car Park at the prestigious British Parking Awards 2018.