Around 1,400 vehicles were destroyed in a devastating blaze at the car park next to the ACC Liverpool arena and convention centre complex on New Year’s Eve. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool city council has unveiled plans for a 1,650-space multi-storey car park on the city’s waterfront – replacing the facility that was destroyed by fire on New Year’s Eve.
Around 1,400 vehicles were destroyed in a devastating blaze at the car park next to the ACC Liverpool arena and convention centre complex during the Liverpool International Horse Show. It took 20 fire crews 12 hours to bring it under control.
Costing £26m, the proposed new nine-floor car park, at Monarch’s Quay, would service the ACC Liverpool complex, which includes the Echo Arena, BT Convention centre and Exhibition Centre Liverpool. The council has submitted an outline planning application.
It is being funded from a combination of general council spending and cash from the insurance payout from the fire. The car park will be fitted with CCTV and payments system, electric charging points, sprinkler system,15 motorcycle spaces and 50 cycle spaces.
A series of highway improvements are also being proposed to improve access into and out of the car park, especially after sell-out events at ACC Liverpool, to reduce congestion in the city centre.
Cllr James Noakes, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, said: “It’s been seven months since that devastating fire and every day since council officers have been working to get us to the point where a long term solution can be delivered.
“Every element of that traumatic night has been very complex and at times very sensitive, not least for those who have had to navigate the often labyrinthine processes for insurance claims.
“The temporary facilities have ensured business continues at the venues, and to date it has worked seamlessly, to the credit of everyone involved.”
Subject to planning approval, the new car park will be built in front of the Exhibition Centre on former infilled docks by construction firm Willmott Dixon, and is planned for completion by Christmas 2019.
As a temporary measure the council is also erecting a four floor, 600 space car park adjacent to the current car park to support events at the waterfront venues. This will be completed and ready for operation by the autumn.