Waterspace strategy unveiled

Bright future for south docks

An exciting plan to maximise the potential of Liverpool’s 250-year old South Docks is set to be approved by Liverpool City Council when a new waterspace strategy goes before its committee on 19 November.

Working with key stakeholders, the Canal & River Trust appointed international architects BACA to produce an innovative and creative waterspace strategy to unlock the potential of the historic docks.

The strategy has been developed as a guide to inform future development of the waterspace within the South Docks. It seeks to transform the docks into a vibrant cultural centre extending from Canning Dock in the north to Brunswick Dock in the south.

Making use of its unique World Heritage setting, the strategy identifies potential for three distinct character zones within the docks:

• The Culture Zone – Albert and Canning Dockswould be the centre of futureboat festivals, cultural celebrations and even a floating sculpture park Mixed Use Zone – Salthouse Dock could be a floating event space withenhanced public realm and improved interaction between the land and water.
• A mixed-use Zone – Dukes Dock and Wapping Basin could be home to a floating waterparkwith kiosks and pavilions at the quayside to encourage year round activity
• Leisure & Aquatic Zone – new opening bridges in Wapping, Queens, Brunswick and CoburgDocks would improve and enhance the existing marina and expand the number of moorings for a wide variety of boats

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “These are exciting proposals, which will play an important part in the future development of the south docks. The city’s waterfront is one of our greatest assets and we want to develop it to its full potential. This strategy lays out the blueprint for how, working together, we can achieve that.”

Julie Sharman, head of enterprise, Canal & River Trust said: “BACA has worked closely with our key stakeholders during the last 18 months to develop an innovative and sustainable strategy to guide future developments within this wonderful historic docks system. There is so much potential and this strategy really pinpoints what we could see developed in the docks in the future.”

Richard Coutts, director in charge of Baca Architects said: “The waterspace strategy is a comprehensive and long-term plan to breathe new life into the once great Liverpool Docks. Unlike other water strategies, the Liverpool South Docks is conceived as a masterplan on water. It considers all aspects of design such as, ‘water use’, floating and fixed infrastructure, ‘water plots’, phasing and integration with land based development.

“Realisation of the plan will transform this part of Liverpool and provide a stable long-term structure for investment. Such an approach is readily transferrable to any dock network globally and can be used to stimulate opportunity and investment.”

The Canal & River Trust will continue to work with Liverpool City Council and other partners to develop the dock system into a world class visitor attraction.

Liverpool’s 35 hectare waterspace is part of the UNESCO world heritage site and is surrounded by some of the largest collections of Grade I listed buildings in the UK.