£40m plans for Liverpool’s Ropewalks

A scheme worth £40m, transforming Liverpool’s historic Wolstenholme Sqaure into a residential and commercial space, is under discussion.

The proposal will also include a new home for the world famous nightclub Cream along with a new performance venue run by collaborators from The Kazimier.

Cream is in talks to create a new venue, while Kazimier has offered its support on ambitious plans to transform the square by developer Elliot Group.

The proposals combine a mixture of uses with residential, commercial, leisure and retail spaces all contained within five blocks that wrap around three sides of the square.

The plans would see the creation of more than 370 apartments provided in a number of size formats ranging from studios to two-bed.

Hundreds of jobs could be created in the construction phase and in the shops, restaurants and cafes that result from the scheme.

The project, designed by Liverpool architects Falconer Chester Hall, will see the creation of new buildings ranging up to 10 storeys and a new passageway through from Wolstenholme Square to Seel Street to improve the area’s permeability.

The proposals include ground floor commercial space for cafes, restaurants and shops, club space and serviced and residential apartments, represent an investment of more than £40m, if planning permission is granted.

Before the planning application is submitted, the public is being asked to comment on them.

An exhibition at Cream’s home, Nation, is taking place on Tuesday April 28 from 2pm to 8pm at which the public can see outlined plans and register their views.

Developer Elliot Lawless of Elliot Group said:

“We’re not there yet as it’s vital that the square’s stakeholders get a chance to tell us what they think, but what’s currently on the table is exciting and imaginative. We’ll be bringing hundreds of construction jobs, providing new space for budding entrepreneurs and giving a real lift to what is a forgotten quarter of Ropewalks.

“The two clubs are emblematic brands for Liverpool and we’re keen to support them. We’ve had some very positive discussions with both operators and although in its very early stages, the project presents them with a huge opportunity to do something exciting.”

Cream’s Scott Barton added:

“We have been working with the developers to ensure that the cultural hub of the square remains and that Cream, one of the city’s leading music venues, continue to thrive. These discussions remain ongoing and we’re excited about the plans.”

Chairman of Ropewalks Residents’ Association, Peter Schriewersmann said:

“We have been working with Kazimier, Cream, Liverpool City Council and the developers for some time now.

“While change to the status-quo was inevitable, and this was bound to be an emotional subject, we were looking for a solution that would benefit both clubs with (new) permanent spaces; benefit an under-utilised Wolstenholme Square and benefit the Ropewalks area as a whole – and we believe that this proposal does exactly that.”

Wolstenholme Square was laid out in the mid-18th century to provide homes for the city’s burgeoning merchant classes and, as with much of Ropewalks, evolved over time into a mixed commercial and industrial neighbourhood serving the docks.

The square suffered during the Blitz, with architectural gems such as the Dutch-style Valspar paint factory lost to German air raids, and replaced by the low-rise warehousing.

The plans represent the latest investment in the city for Elliot Group after it secured planning permission for the refurbishment of the nearby Heap’s Rice Mill, the last of the great Victorian warehouse complexes in Liverpool’s south docks.

The mill forms the centrepiece of a major new housing-led project on Park Lane, behind the John Lewis store. Work is expected to start on the £130m scheme later in the year.




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