Festival Gardens plan set to move forward

The first phase of work to transform the former International Festival Gardens in Liverpool is set to be approved.

The city council took control of the site last year, with the aim of making it a major visitor and cultural destination together with a limited amount of residential development.

The council wants the site – which is already open to the public as gardens – to become an extension of the city’s current cultural, leisure and residential offers.

A report to the Cabinet on Friday 10 June reveals that architects have been appointed to develop a master plan for the site.

Now the Cabinet is being asked to give the go-ahead to remediation work on nine acres of land adjacent to the Britannia Inn, seven acres of which could then be sold for a residential development.

It is estimated that the sale of the land for housing would generate a net profit to the city council, when allowing for the cost of treating the ground.

Surveys of the Gardens and southern grasslands are also getting underway to give a comprehensive understanding of the ground conditions across the whole site, which will inform the master plan.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The International Festival Gardens site has huge potential and had languished for too long without being properly developed.

“By taking ownership of the site we are now in a position to develop a comprehensive plan for its future as a great visitor and cultural destination also incorporating a limited amount of housing.

“We have already seen a glimpse of its potential as a location for cultural events when we held the Luminous Landscapes festival on the site, which attracted more than 10,000 people.

“This is just the start of a long term process to carefully develop a site which is hugely important to the city and which many people are very fond of.”

Contractors are also working on clearing overgrown vegetation on part of the site with a view to using it as events space during the summer months, ahead of remediation starting in the autumn.