A run-down area of Liverpool’s docklands could be Britain’s next great creative hot spot.
Liverpool City Council is seeking to create a Cultural Enterprise Industry Hub that will neighbour and complement the development of the £5.5bn Liverpool Waters project, by Peel, and the investment by Harcourt Developments at the Titanic Hotel and Rum Warehouse Conference Centre.
A recommendation is going to the city council’s cabinet on Friday, 14 October to approve a new vision – known as the Atlantic Corridor Development Framework – which aims to revolutionise the city’s northern docklands area.
The first phase of the framework has identified a zone, called the “Ten Streets”, which begins less than one mile from the city centre’s commercial district and runs to the Stanley Dock complex, itself undergoing a multi-million pound renaissance.
Encompassing 27 acres, many of the warehouses and dockside buildings in the Ten Streets zone lend themselves to conversions and with a low rents base, and are considered an ideal location to attract artistic, creative and digital businesses.
The council report has identified huge potential for growth with £260 million having been invested in new developments within the Atlantic Corridor boundary since January 2012, £52 million currently on site and a further £130 million of development with or seeking planning permission.
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: “Liverpool’s Atlantic Corridor has the potential to become one of the jewels in the north of England’s economy. It’s been a sleeping giant for far too long and now thanks to work with partners such as Peel and Harcourt we have for the first time in generations a plan to resurrect its fortunes.
”In many ways the warehouses that fell silent with the changes in the docks fortunes are now its greatest asset as they are the perfect spaces for start-ups and emerging businesses in the digital and creative sector. There is much work to be done in establishing the ‘Ten Streets’ as a brand and location, but the vision is there, the support is there from the city council and, crucially, the private sector to deliver something very special.”
The council’s ambition, which will be captured in an emerging master-plan for Ten Streets, is to blend historic buildings with new developments in much the same way that has seen the transformation of the city’s Baltic Triangle or Shoreditch in London, attracting new investment, business and jobs.
Key proposals of the Atlantic Corridor Development Framework include:
· Provide the stimulus and foundation for new development, new projects and new initiatives in this part of North Liverpool
· Provide clear, direct links across the Atlantic Corridor to connect Ten Streets and Liverpool Waters with the key east west pedestrian and cycleways
· Retention and conversion of historic warehouse and dockland structures to provide increased activity along street frontages, particularly at the lower floor level and in the evenings
· Contemporary approaches to building and streetscape designs to create a distinct sense of place
· Building scale, form and massing to respond to the scale and drama of the warehouses, streets and framed views of the River Mersey and proposed Liverpool Waters cityscape
The Ten Streets zone also runs parallel to the A565 which is subject to £35m of improvements in anticipation of the new £400m Liverpool2 deep water container terminal.
Ian Pollitt, assistant development director at Liverpool Waters, said: “We very much welcome this piece of work which complements the Liverpool Waters project and includes some of the land that we own. While Liverpool Waters covers a large area of the northern docks, this scheme reaches out and engages further into north Liverpool and will ensure the momentum of recent and on-going regeneration is maintained.
“We are also looking forward to working with other partners on the Heritage Action Zone steering committee to ensure the historical assets are repaired and preserved, new use is found for old and we can take this vision to the next level.”
Currently at Stanley Dock, the redevelopment of the Tobacco Warehouse is now underway with 538 apartments planned. A 254 bed Apart-Hotel is also to be provided on site, in addition to 150,000 sq.ft of mixed commercial space.