As Liverpool’s visitor economy smashes through the £4.5bn barrier developer Elliot Lawless, who is behind £500m of projects, says the city is about the step onto another level. Tony McDonough reports
A developer behind more than £500m of projects in Liverpool claims the city is on the verge of becoming the UK’s first “urban resort”.
Figures released in the last few weeks revealed Liverpool city region attracted more than 64m visitors in 2017, generating revenues in excess of £4.5bn for the first time. Liverpool alone welcomed 34.4m visitors.
Now, according to Elliot Lawless of Elliot Group, the city is now establishing itself as “one of Europe’s great urban playgrounds”, following in the footstep of locations such as Barcelona and Boston.
Elliot Group has hired contractors Forrest, Vermont and Newry to work on its six current Liverpool developments which are set to deliver 2,535 apartments and 484 hotel beds in areas such as Ropewalks and Baltic Triangle.
Mr Lawless said: “You’ve got this great blend of heritage and skyscrapers and a really interesting feel at street level. Visitor numbers are booming, but I sense the city’s about to reach a tipping point.
“When the dust has settled on things like the new cruise liner terminal and all the myriad projects in the city centre Liverpool will be just knockout and I can see visitor numbers going stratospheric, and staying there.”
He will shortly oversee the opening of the new £20m Seel Street Hotel Hotel by EPIC in Ropewalks and the start on site of his £70m waterfront EPIC Hotel and Residence in the Baltic Quarter, which has become a creative and cultural hotspot in less than a decade.
And this autumn also sees completion by Newry Construction of the £44m regeneration of Wolstenholme Square, delivering 470 new homes and more than a dozen new leisure units.
Forrest is busy completing the steel framework for the £100m, 1,007 bed Aura development next to the Royal hospital and Vermont is now well on with groundworks for the first of the company’s £250m ‘triple towers’ Infinity scheme at Pall Mall, on the northern edge of Liverpool’s business district.
Work will also shortly start on site on the company’s £36m extension to Wolstenholme Square, to be known as The Address.
Mr Lawless added: “My ambition for Liverpool remains undimmed. Just look at what it is already, and what it could be. The city is headed for a new golden age and I want to play my part. I’ve got more schemes in the pipeline and they’ll be just as good as the rest.”