Council to purchase prime dockland for £1

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Liverpool City Council is to buy more than 55,000 sq metres of prime waterfront land at Kings Dock from Homes England for £1.

A report to the council’s Cabinet tomorrow (Friday, 27 September) seeks approval to acquire the freehold interest for a nominal sum, to help trigger a new multi-million redevelopment programme.

The purchase follows the endorsement of a 2017 Masterplan and Planning Brief for the remaining development plots on Kings Dock to be transformed into a vibrant leisure-based mixed-use destination.

Once approved the council will then seek expressions of interest from developers and operators.

The council already holds the majority of the Kings Dock estate under three 999 year leases, incorporating venues such as M&S Bank Arena, the Convention Centre, Exhibition Centre Liverpool and Pullman Hotel as well as several plots of vacant land, including the former waterfront car park which was demolished following a fire on New Year’s Eve two years ago.*

Purchase of the freehold is part of the council’s strategy for the continuing renaissance of the city’s iconic waterfront. It is estimated that the ACC Liverpool complex has generated a £1.6bn economic impact for the city since its creation in 2008 – and close to £200m in the last year alone.

Alongside Kings Dock, Liverpool’s waterfront is subject to several transformational projects including the redevelopment of Festival Gardens along the south of the Mersey shoreline, a new Cruise Liner Terminal, the 10 Streets Creativity District, the £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme and potentially a new football stadium for Everton Football Club in the north at Bramley Moore Dock.

* A new £30 million multi-storey car park is currently under construction at Kings Dock. Built by contractors Willmott Dixon the 1,434 space car park, to be operated by the council, is scheduled to open in Summer 2020.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said:The transformation of the Kings Dock from a car park to a major tourist and leisure attraction has been one of our great success stories and has helped to fuel the Liverpool Powerhouse.

“Our iconic waterfront demands a world class offer and we have a masterplan to ensure that continues to happen at Kings Dock – so we continue to attract the biggest names in entertainment, the biggest brands in the conference sector and millions of tourists from around the world supporting thousands of jobs.

“This transaction for £1 ensures the future direction of the site and our intention is to market the sites as soon as possible by seeking expressions of interest this autumn.“Liverpool’s waterfront has blossomed over the past decade but we are not finished yet – the next phase of development at Kings Dock will arguably be more transformational than what we have already achieved. Its growth will also help further cement the city’s growing global reputation as a great city for investment, leisure and to visit, work and live in.”