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MANCHESTER IS CHANGING ALL THE TIME - In Salford Quays, the Lowry opened on 28 April 2000 to generally positive comments, but in Manchester city centre, Piccadilly Gardens is about to be dug up...

In May 2000, barriers suddenly appeared around the well-loved but neglected Piccadilly Gardens, with signs saying "Construction Site Keep Out", and notices about the closure of pathways.

The instigators of this construction work, Manchester City Council, posted no photographs or artists impressions of how their construction project will look when it's finished.

Is this the demise of Piccadilly as we know it?

Keep visiting Eyewitness in Manchester to see how this scene looks in a couple of month's time.

THE LOWRY and the new footbridge across the Ship Canal form a dramatic silhouette against the skyline at dusk. Here we are looking roughly north west from south wharf.

It's 8.30pm on Tuesday 2 May 2000, and the enlarged red disk of the sun is about to set behind the industrial buildings of Trafford Park.

Work has already started on the Imperial War Museum North, situated just beyond the footbridge to the left. When completed, its jagged outline will be visible for miles around, adding another eye-catching element to this already impressive scene.

THE LOWRY was officially opened by Culture Secretary Chris Smith on the evening of Friday 28th of April 2000 - this is how it looked at around dusk that evening, seen from the newly-opened multi-storey car park next to it.

Workmen were still making carrying out final jobs on the building, and to the area just outside. On the left we can see the new footbridge, completed in 1999.

On the right is North Bay, the largest dock in the former Manchester Docks, linked to the sea by the Manchester Ship Canal which leads off centre right.

In the distance on the right, we can see the lights of Eccles.

It's an inspiring and futuristic scene, symbolic of the successful transformation of the former Docks from a derelict area in the early 80's into a trendsetting business, residential and now cultural district.

These wooden slabs are all that remains of the jetty from where a ferry used to cross the Manchester Ship Canal here at Irlam Road, Town Gate, near Flixton (Borough of Trafford).

To reach Irlam (City of Salford), visible on the other bank of the canal, you have make a detour of around six miles (10km).

On the left can be seen one of the Manchester Ship Canal towers, all of a similar design, with a pyramid roof.

Irlam locks are just beyond the tower to the left.

MORE PICTURES will be added shortly - SEE THE PREVIOUS and NEXT Eyewitness update

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