£9.9m grant from the £450m Local Authority Accelerated Construction programme, via Homes England, will allow essential remediation work to take place on the Mersey waterfront site. Tony McDonough reports
A Government cash injection of almost £10m will pave the way for the construction of up to 1,845 new homes at Liverpool’s Festival Gardens site.
The £9.9m grant from the £450m Local Authority Accelerated Construction programme, via Homes England, will allow essential remediation work to take place and allow the first phase of a transformational £700m development that includes 350,000 sq ft of leisure space and a new ferry terminal.
The news comes as Homes England officially opened new offices in the same building as Liverpool City Region Combined Authority at Mann Island – a move designed to help the two organisations collaborate more effectively to get homes built.
In January, Liverpool City Council announced a temporary closure to the public of the 100-acre former International Garden Festival site to allow contractors Willmott Dixon to drill several bore holes to determine what lies beneath the gardens.
The council has long held ambitious plans for the site but, to date, a lack of funding has meant crucial remediation works have been unable to take place. Now, activity is expected to begin on-site in the spring, with the first homes being available by 2022.
In addition to owner-occupied houses, the site will also include privately rented apartments. Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: “Festival Gardens is a much-loved waterfront location and people have very fond memories of spending time there.
“We are fully aware of the potential the Festival Gardens has and its transformation will be a game-changer for this city’s economy in terms of new homes, construction jobs and growth.
“Thanks to this funding, the council can start essential remediation works on site and move forward with the vision of creating a significant number of new family homes in South Liverpool at an iconic destination.
*This article was updated to change the figure from 1,500 homes to 1.845 homes.