New ‘Tower of Light’ to grace Manchester’s skyline

A 40-metre chimney with a striking resemblance to the Olympic torch will be the centrepiece of a new energy scheme in Manchester city centre.

Manchester City Council has secured £2.87m of grant funding from the Government’s national Heat Network Investment Project, for the Manchester Civic Quarter Heat Network.

The project, which includes a 40m flue, will be a permanent addition to Manchester’s skyline and four of the UK’s most renowned architecture practices were shortlisted to submit designs as part of a competition to ensure the energy centre would be a positive addition to Manchester’s Civic Quarter.

After presentations were made to a panel made up of council representatives and relevant experts, the design by award-winning architects Tonkin Liu and structural engineers Arup was chosen.  The project team will now work closely with the team to deliver this stunning design, named the Tower of Light.

Vital Energi, who are one of the country’s best known providers of sustainable and renewable energy schemes, have been appointed as preferred bidder to deliver the scheme, which will include the creation of a low-carbon energy centre and 2km district heating network - connecting several iconic Manchester buildings, including Manchester Town Hall & Extension, Manchester Central Convention Centre, Central Library, Manchester Art Gallery, The Bridgewater Hall, and Heron House.

Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment and Skills, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Manchester to not only reduce energy costs and carbon emissions within the civic estate, but also to offer those same environmental and financial benefits to local businesses.

"The council is fully committed to improving air quality and the environmental quality and attractiveness of the city, and we believe this flagship project will make a significant contribution to achieving those ambitions.”

A final report will be heard by Manchester City Council’s Executive in the New Year and works are expected to start in Spring 2018.

Stuart Goulden

Lead Consultant