Former super-middleweight boxing champion Paul Smith is bringing forward Kirkdale Canalside in partnership with Liverpool Council’s housing company Foundations. Tony McDonough reports
North Liverpool residents have given overwhelming backing to a housing-led regeneration project being proposed by former super-middleweight boxing champion Paul Smith.
Mr Smith is bringing forward Kirkdale Canalside in partnership with Liverpool City Council’s housing company Foundations which will offer affordable homes community facilities, elderly care accommodation and an eco-park.
It will also include a new boxing academy to be run by Mr Smith and his three brothers, the most successful boxing family in the UK and holders of British, European and world titles.
He is being advised by London-based Lacey Capital Partners on the scheme, which would be located in a derelict railway cutting and neighbouring canalside that run along Melrose Road and Commercial Road through the heart of Kirkdale.
Some 92 per cent of local people who took part in the public consultation supported the proposals overall, with more than seven out of 10 people saying they ‘strongly’ supported the ideas. In total 351 questionnaires were completed over the course of the three week consultation, which took place from May 8 to June 6.
Almost 3,000 homes and businesses in the area surrounding the site were leafleted to invite local residents to two community consultation events at the Gordon Institute on Stanley Road. For those who were unable to attend, a survey was available for completion online.
With a strong local community mandate in place, Kirkdale Canalside remains on track to conduct a second public consultation on the facilities and designs proposed for the project by the end of the year, which will follow a detailed piece of feasibility work to be undertaken by the team over the next few weeks and months.
Mr Smith said: “We’re very happy with the results of the first stage of the consultation, which have reaffirmed to us that our vision for Kirkdale Canalside is in line with what people in Kirkdale want to see in their community.
“Their feedback will be listened to and reflected in our proposals as we continue to develop our ideas for the potential of this project. Kirkdale Canalside is a fantastic opportunity for the Smith brothers to give back to the community where they were raised.”