Project on 90-acre site covering the former International Festival Gardens site include delivering up to 2,500 new homes, up to 350,000 sq ft of commercial and leisure floor-space and a ferry terminal. Tony McDonough reports
A £700m plan to build 2,500 new homes and a major leisure attraction at Liverpool’s former International Festival Gardens are set to take a step further.
Liverpool City Council is proposing to spend £1m on a programme of detailed site investigation and enabling works that will pave the way for the Festival Park development.
Last summer the council unveiled its masterplan to create the riverside suburb on the 90-acre site in the south end of city. Key to bringing forward the redevelopment will be the delivery of a major new open space on part of the site.
Site investigations have already established a remediation strategy on the northern development zone and the council is currently in talks with established leisure and attraction operator Heritage Great Britain to develop a business case for an attraction.
The set of land surveys and environmental assessments, which will take two months to complete and will require phased closure to certain parts of the gardens, represent a key stage in the transformation of the site.
The results would provide the council with details and costs on the scheme which could also include delivering up to 2,500 new homes, up to 350,000 sq ft of commercial and leisure floor-space and a new ferry terminal.
The report to council Cabinet on Friday, February 23, also recommends a further £232,000 be spent on repairing the former Festival Garden dome base so it can be used to support the city’s programme of events as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations as European Capital of Culture, with these works carried out by contractors Willmott Dixon.
Other key aims of the masterplan include creating a 5km long green corridor to the city centre, a remodelled coastal path as well as a new cultural ‘landmark’ venue to sit alongside the year-round leisure attraction.
There is also a current outline planning consent for a 1,380 unit residential development on part of the site, valid until December 2022.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Festival Park Liverpool has the potential to be a huge game changer for this city’s economy.
“I’m encouraged by the work to date and the proposals Heritage Great Britain are developing for a major leisure attraction and we will soon be in a position to share these with the public.
“There is much work to be done but these site surveys will provide us with a roadmap to making this vision a reality over the coming decade.”