New Liverpool city centre district could see the creation of 7,000 new jobs

Liverpool City Council is to launch a public consultation on an area it is calling ‘Upper Central’ which will create a new gateway linking the retail district with the £2bn Knowledge Quarter. Tony McDonough reports

Upper Central
Liverpool City Council is to launch a public consultation on an area it is calling ‘Upper Central’


A new masterplan to link Liverpool’s main city centre retail area with the emerging £2bn Knowledge Quarter could see 2.5m sq ft of development space and 7,000 new jobs.

Liverpool City Council is to launch a public consultation on an area it is calling ‘Upper Central’, running from Central Station to Liverpool Science Park and Lime Street to Bold Street, covering 56 acres of the city centre.

Last year the council acquired Liverpool Central Shopping Centre, which is the gateway to Central Station, in a deal believed to be worth around £17m. Its 21 retail units generate an annual income for the city of £860,000.

As well as being seen as a revenue-generating investment the deal was also seen as the first piece of the jigsaw in the regeneration of the Upper Central district.

Public consultation

On Friday, July 5, the council’s cabinet will be asked to approve that a public consultation begins on a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) to help shape the future direction of the area.

Its focus will be how Upper Central can become a magnet for digital, tech and creative sectors with the aim of providing three key goals:

  • To maximise the opportunities of 2.5m sq ft of new developments (larger than Liverpool One), with potential to create up to 7,000 new jobs.
  • A new sustainable, walkable and recognisable gateway location within the city, promoting pedestrian movement, increased dwell time and a positive first impression to millions of residents and visitors arriving into the city centre at Lime Street or Central stations.
  • To ensure high quality public realm that creates a place that is distinctly Liverpudlian and attractive to occupiers, residents and investors.

Stakeholder feedback on the draft SRF identified a need to re-brand the area. As a result a new website will be launched to coincide with the start of the public consultation.

Economic future

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “Upper Central is vital to this city’s economic future and such is the scale of its potential it will be a huge employer for generations to come.

This gateway project is now the final piece in the jigsaw to connect the site to the rest of the city centre and complete the wider regeneration of Lime Street, Mount Pleasant and Brownlow Hill. Its impact cannot be underestimated and I’m sure this draft SRF report will create a much needed debate about how we ensure the future growth of this hugely important area.”

READ MORE: Have your say on the future of Liverpool’s commercial district

A major aspiration identified in the draft SRF is how to create a super crossing at Ranelagh Place, a new pedestrian experience along Renshaw Street and to promote a new pedestrian route to Lime Street Station from Copperas Hill to allow for improved access to the Fabric District and Paddington Village.

Liverpool Central Shopping Centre
Liverpool Central Shopping Centre was acquired by Liverpool City Council in 2018


Expert team

Commercial property consultancy Avison Young, K2 Architects and planning consultancy Planit-IE will make up a team of independent experts who will look at how best to redevelop the Lime Street area around the Adelphi Hotel, Central Station and Mount Pleasant.

The aim is to dovetail with Liverpool John Moores University’s Copperas Hill site, plans for the Fabric District and various private sector schemes such as Circus Liverpool at the old Lewis’s building.

Neil Lucas, director at Avison Young, added: “The SRF area represents the new heart of the expanded city centre and is a key part of the ongoing regeneration of the city.

“The SRF sets out an ambitious framework to return this area to its former glory through positive placemaking with exceptional new public realm, infrastructure, and exemplary architecture, and we look forward to receiving feedback from the public.”

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