The Maine Road Centre Spot Public Art Commission

A proposal is currently in place to site a unique piece of public art on the former Centre Spot of the Maine Road football ground. Our ambition is to celebrate, animate and enhance this culturally and historically significant public space, at the heart of the Maine Place Development.

In 2009 three artists including Stephen Broadbent, Walter Jack and Colin Wilbourn were commissioned, by the Maine Road Public Art Steering Group, to develop individual design concepts for public art on the Centre Spot site.

In September 2009 a feedback and selection event was held at The Divine Mercy RC Primary School. A representative group of key project stakeholders met with each of the three commissioned artists to hear and evaluate their proposals. After much debate a consensus was reached and Stephen Broadbent has subsequently been appointed to take the project forward.

Stephen has been working with the project team and local residents to further develop and test his concept for the Centre Spot site. The concept includes designs for a central public space which includes an integrated art/landscape feature, bespoke lighting and a site-specific audio soundscape. Visitors to the site would be able to connect to a central website via their mobile phone to hear the roar of 40,000 football supporters or to listen to personal stories from fans and local people. We want to encourage people of all ages to participate in building a unique audio visual archive to celebrate the heritage of the site and its surrounding neighbourhood. Fund raising to realise all aspects of the project is on going. Click here to download and read Stephen’s full design concept document (PDF format)

The first stage of this unique project is ‘The Search for the Text’. The community, locally, citywide, nationally and internationally are being invited to take part in an open competition to write a short piece of text that could be etched into granite around the Centre Spot site. The competition was launched at the Manchester Literature Festival in October 2010.

Click here to view the ‘Art at the Heart of Maine Road’ film.

Project Partners:
The Maine Road Public Art Steering Group, which includes representatives of Manchester City Council, South Manchester Regeneration Team, Cultural Strategy Team, Private Sector Housing, Planning, Education & Learning, Lowry Homes, Moss Care Housing Association, The Whitworth Museum & Art Galley, Corner House and Arts Council Northwest.

Thanks to all of the local people who helped with the final selection process including: The Divine Mercy RC Primary School, Claremont Primary School and Moss Side Academy. Local residents from Moss Side – including new residents of the Maine Place Development. Link to Community Engagement page