Funding secured to give city green make-over

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Liverpool has been awarded nearly £3.5million to create new green corridors across the city.

Liverpool City Council teamed up with Mersey Forest, the University of Liverpool and organisations in Valladolid (Spain) and Izmir (Turkey) to successfully bid for 10 million euros of Horizon 2020 European funding which will be invested in creating new green spaces in the city – four million euros of which (£3.4 million) is specifically for Liverpool.

Over the next three years the Liverpool partners will undertake a range of innovative research projects and work with local communities, organisations such as the Business Improvement District and other stakeholders to identify and retrofit a number of ‘green corridors’ as part of the URBAN GreenUP project.

Work will start in the New Year when plans for the corridors will be developed. It is likely the sites which will be transformed will include locations within the Baltic Corridor, the business and commercial district of the city centre and the Jericho Lane/Otterspool areas.

The aim is to tackle environmental city issues through Nature Based Solutions and to deliver a range of environmental improvements including increasing biodiversity, improving air quality and alleviating surface water issues. Work will include planting trees, introducing green walls (also known as vertical gardens) and establishing rain gardens and sustainable urban drainage systems, whilst enhancing pedestrian and cyclist routes in and out of the city.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Steve Munby, said: “Receiving this funding will allow us to environmentally enhance some key city routes, benefitting the local community, businesses and the city as a whole, whilst providing an opportunity to adapt parts of the city so they are more resilient to future climate change impacts.

“It is incredibly important to be able to work in partnership, not only with other Liverpool organisations, but to share information and best practice with other European cities which also have environmental improvements high on their agenda.

“It will be incredibly rewarding to see these green corridors flourish over the next three years and make Liverpool an even more pleasant place to live, work and visit.”

The project delivers on the green corridor recommendations in the Mayoral Review for Green and Open Spaces and will additionally fulfil emerging aspirations in the development of the city’s Local Plan.

The proposed environmental improvements builds on the work of the Mersey Forest over the past 25 years, providing a valuable opportunity to bring nature back to the urban core, and at the same time enhance the green infrastructure of the city.

Paul Nolan, Director of the Mersey Forest, said: “Liverpool has been on the leading edge of Green Infrastructure planning and delivery for several years. This is a great partnership and we look forward to helping to deliver this exciting project with communities and business.”

The in depth research, experimental design of technical solutions and practical testing, together with data analysis, will be undertaken by the University of Liverpool.

Dr Ian Mell, University of Liverpool, said: “The URBAN GreenUP project is a fantastic opportunity to look at what makes an attractive and useful landscape and how people from all walks of life can reconnect with nature. Delivering the URBAN GreenUP project will place Liverpool at the forefront of European research for Nature-Based Solutions.”

The GreenUP project will help to consolidate and promote the green infrastructure partnership work of the city and Mersey Forest.

The funding also provides an opportunity to promote the city as a focal point for high quality research in this sector.