Lidl scraps plan for new Liverpool Wavertree store

Discount supermarket giant Lidl abandons plans to create a new store in the former Abbey Cinema in Wavertree in Liverpool – just months after reviving the scheme. Tony McDonough reports

Abbey Cinema
The former Abbey Cinema in Wavertree in Liverpool will now not become a Lidl store


Lidl will not be opening a new store in the former Abbey Cinema in Wavertree, ending a will-they, won’t they saga that has dragged on for two years.

Early in 2021 Lidl announced it would demolish the building to build a new 18,000 sq ft outlet. Many local residents were in favour of the scheme but heritage campaigners quickly objected.

In April 2021, Historic England, the public body which protects old buildings, officially recommended the landmark site for listing at Grade II level. This forced Lidl to withdraw its planning application and there were fears the project would be abandoned altogether.

In August last year LBN revealed the project, which would see the creation of 30 jobs, was back on track. It said it hoped to be able to open the new store without demolishing the building.

At the time Lidl’s regional head of property, Stuart Jardine, said: “We have listened carefully to feedback from residents and stakeholder groups. And we believe our proposals are the most viable option to revitalise this area for the local community.”

However, on Wednesday afternoon, the German retailer said that despite its best efforts, it would not be able to secure planning approval while retaining the building’s listed status.


Lidl’s plans for the former Abbey Cinema in Wavertree which have now been scapped


A spokesperson said: “Due to the significant delays that we have faced since first acquiring the site, we have made the difficult decision to withdraw our application.

“We understand that this will be disappointing for those who backed our plans, and we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took the time to give their support.”

According to Historic England the former cinema, designed by architect Sir Alfred Ernest Shennan, is “an increasingly rare example of a medium-scale 1930s ‘super cinema’.

It was built for a small independent local chain in the heyday of cinema design and cinemagoing”. It also features in the original draft lyrics of The Beatles song In My Life.

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.