Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson wants a social enterprise to be set up to secure the future of St Luke’s Church.
He is convening a public forum, with the aim of engaging with different people and groups in the city who want to help develop a plan to secure the iconic site.
It could see the creation of a Community Interest Company (CIC) to raise funds to create a strong and sustainable future for the much-loved building, known locally as the bombed out church.
It comes after the city received a non-solicited approach from a private organisation with ideas for the site, which the Mayor has now rejected.
Mayor Anderson said: “I have been clear that it was never my intention to sell St Luke’s Church – it is a building which is extremely important to me personally and I would never do anything to jeopardise its legacy or status.
“We have now decided not to proceed with the proposals to develop a scheme inside the site. They were visionary and could have been economically viable, but I believe they don’t represent what I or the public would want.
“Conversations have also taken place with Urban Strawberry Lunch who currently put on events within the grounds of the building. They were constructive, but they don’t at this time provide the security and future that the site requires. However, they have carried out some fantastic work at the site over the last few years and I am keen that they play a key role in the discussions and debate about the future of St Luke’s.
“The site requires a significant amount spending on it to secure the safety of the structure, so we have also had some very early positive discussions with the Arts Council about the possibility of applying for funding.
“I believe that setting up a CIC is our best option and will give us the opportunity to work with as many people as possible who all have the interests of St Luke’s at heart.”
A meeting date will be announced in the near future.
In the meantime the city council is undertaking a structural survey of the building because of the damage caused recently by the wind and rain. Once the repairs have been made and it is safe, it will be reopened to the public.