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Viaduct demolition plan causes artistic angst

ct-viaductPlans by Stockport Council to demolish the town’s  iconic viaduct has provoked a furious response from the region’s artistic community.

The plans announced this week as part of a £275 million regeneration of the town centre include demolishing the brick structure to replace it with a Japanese-style high level suspended train track. There will also be a new football stadium for Stockport County and a 24-screen multiplex cinema.

But the possible loss of the viaduct has led to an outcry from the region’s leading artists who say its demolition will mean that most of them will lose their livelihoods.

Artist Reg Campbell-Barlow, said; “The viaduct is Northern Art, without it we have no inspiration. Art is important to the north and the viaduct is important to art.”

Around 400 regional artists have already signed an online petition calling for the council to think again about a structure which has featured in the paintings of artists such as L S Lowry and William Turner.

Susan Eyres, a director of Cheshire’s Gateway Gallery, said the demolition would hit the northern art market hard.

“It’s loss would be devastating for literally hundreds of artists. If you mention Northern Art to anyone in London today they immediate respond with “The viaduct”. I know of one dealer who has artists on standby underneath the viaduct to meet the demand for commissions. “

Another gallery pointed out that the viaduct had featured no less 14 times in the “Best-selling book The Northern School Revisited.”

Campbell-Barlow said that when the artists had gathered sufficient online signatures’, the petition would be presented to Stockport Borough Council. A spokesman for the council declined to comment.

However, not everyone agrees with the groups aims. One of the North’s leading artists Geoffrey Key  responded “Is it still there? Goodness. I thought it had been knocked down ages ago.”

Stockport Council’s planning committee will make a decision on the viaduct next month which is one month from the date of this story, April 1st.


Posted 2:06 PM Friday April 1, 2016. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response to this entry. Pinging is currently not allowed.

15 Responses to Viaduct demolition plan causes artistic angst

  1. Gaz Reply

    April 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    “It’s loss would be devastating for literally hundreds of artists. If you mention Northern Art to anyone in London today they immediate respond with “The viaduct”. I know of one dealer who has artists on standby underneath the viaduct to meet the demand for commissions. “


  2. Terence James Reply

    April 5, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    This is an iconic bit of british building at it’s best, it’s been there fore ever to me, and will be there a very long time !!

  3. Joe Reply

    April 5, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    It’s not about the art for the few arty farties it’s about making it a much nicer place for the masses.

    Just look at the regeneration of Manchester. If the few hankering for the way it was had got their way it would still be a dump, now it’s a vibrant place for the modern society of today and tomorrow.

  4. Joe Reply

    April 5, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    I since gather this is meant to be an April’s fool,
    Make sure you get your times right as it should be pretty 12 not 2:06pm

  5. Charli Reply

    April 6, 2016 at 1:06 am

    I don’t even live in Stockport any more. I had done previously for 12 years of my life. This would be a tragic loss if this were to be pulled down! All to make Stockport look more ”up to date”. Its a load of bobbins if you ask me!. Keep the Viaduct as people say above, everyone knows that it is part of Stockport and its History!!

  6. Steve Nesbitt Reply

    April 6, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Unlikely since I would have thought the railway viaduct belonged to Network Rail, not Cheshire County Council

  7. paul kearslake Reply

    April 6, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Dipshits. Journalism used to require intelligence, street smarts and common sense …………. now you can not even get April Fools nonsense right – Britain deserves its slide into pointless oblivion with a population that cannot even grasp simple old fashioned concepts.I’m glad I will be dead soon rather than having to live amongst morons…..

  8. Darren Ord Reply

    April 6, 2016 at 11:41 am

    County don’t need a stadium. Stockfordians don’t need a cinema or a fancy new bridge.. we have a camp site on stockport market full of homeless people.. houses and jobs!!! Where are the plans for these

  9. lorraine scott Reply

    April 6, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I am not an artist but the viaduct is beautiful and historical. it would be a crime to get rid

  10. Andy Timms Reply

    April 6, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    The rebirth of Manchester has been great, and Stockport does so need to reinvent itself, but destroy the viaduct – I don’t think so. It is part of Northern heritage, and I believe it is one of the largest brick structures in Europe, so surely it is a listed structure.

  11. Jamie Reply

    April 7, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Take a photo then?
    It’s tatty and makes Stockport look cheap, the regeneration plans are great, I’m all for this!

  12. Joyce Reply

    April 7, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I am 80 years old.i lived almost under
    the Bridge all through the war when it was the target of Hitlers bombers.They missed distroying it,now our council want to do it.Shame on them.

  13. Clive Larkin Reply

    September 25, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    I am all for regeneration, but please don’t do it by destroying stockport’s history.I am sure that things can be done to improve the looks of the viaduct i.e lighting and cleaning.

  14. Kenny1978 Reply

    December 29, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Utter nonsense! This is a grade II listed structure there has been no plans to demolish this bridge. If there had then you would see this in all the media and websites but surprisingly it’s only mentioned on this one site (Google it yourself)

    • Martin Regan Reply

      January 3, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      check the date!

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