City council wants your views on the future of the International Festival Gardens

90-acre Aigburth site, on the banks of the River Mersey, was the location for the city’s International Garden Festival in 1984. Tony McDonough reports.

Artist's impression of how the redeveloped Festival Gardens site could look
Artist’s impression of how the redeveloped Festival Gardens site could look

Council chiefs want your views on the future of Liverpool’s International Festival Gardens site.

A four-week public consultation begins this week with the public being invited to offer views on a draft masterplan that aims to create a ‘cultural garden suburb’ that would also transform the site into a major visitor and cultural destination.

The 90-acre Aigburth site, on the banks of the River Mersey, was the location for the city’s International Garden Festival in 1984.

In the three decades or so since there has been no permanent long-term vision for the site. In the 1990s it was briefly the home of leisure attraction Pleasure Island.

Liverpool City Council took control of the site last year and development plans will be focused on the northern and central parts with a re-modelled waterfront.

Two public consultation events will be held on:

·         Wednesday, November 30, 10am-6pm, at Sefton Park Library, Aigburth Road.

·         Wednesday, December 7, 0am-6pm, at Liverpool Town Hall.

Surveys are being undertaken to assess ground conditions with the intention to revitalise the gardens, which are open to the public, and southern grasslands as public amenity space with opportunities for sport and recreation.

The draft masterplan also sets out to enhance connections with the surrounding community, including a safer pedestrian route to Priory Wood and St Michaels train station.

There is a current outline planning consent for a 1,380 unit residential development on part of the site, valid until December 2022.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: ‘’This masterplan is a comprehensive approach to regenerating the wider Festival Gardens site with greater benefits for the local community.

“This will be a long-term process to carefully develop what is a hugely important site to the city and its residents.’’

For more information the public can go online to www.liverpool.gov.uk/festivalgardens (online portal goes live on Wednesday, November 30).

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