A radical £6m revamp to the retail heart of Liverpool city centre has been completed.
Liverpool City Council has overseen the dual schemes of a £3.5m public realm upgrade to improve the roads surrounding Clayton Square and St Johns Shopping Centres and the £2.5m upgrade of St Johns Market.
Begun in February, the scheme to upgrade Parker Street, Elliott Street and Houghton Street, included the creation of a new stepped entrance and took 33,000 man hours to complete.
It also involved:
• 5,000m2 of granite paving
• 550m of granite channel
• 60m3 of concrete for the 132 steps
• 26 new trees
• 9 new benches
• 41 new bollards
• 4 new cycle racks
• 11 new litter bins
St Johns Market, which dates back to 1822, will have a ‘soft opening’ on Monday, 14 November for a two week public preview before its official opening on Friday, 25 November.
The historic market has undergone a radical makeover since July – complete with a new event space, its first welcome desk and team and free wi-fi.
The new St Johns Market, which will be home to a purpose built food court, will also include:
• Flexible space for temporary events and speciality markets
• New seating areas – with capacity for 200 people
• New lifts to the balcony level
• New public toilets
• A bright new colour design – most notably on pitched market roof
St Johns Market, which last had a refit in 1971 and was reopened by The Queen, will also be staffed by with an information desk for the first time in its history.
St Johns Market Traders Association has created a brand new website www.stjohnsmarket.uk and social media platforms for the public to provide feedback and to get to know the traders.
A series of unique events will also be held within the market in the run up to Christmas to showcase the new look surroundings.
In the New Year, the city council will also relocate its One Stop Shop from the Municipal Buildings into the market adding further footfall to the venue.
Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Liverpool’s shopping district has undergone a huge transformation over the past decade and the upgrade to the area around St Johns Market and the market itself is the final piece in that area’s regeneration jigsaw.
”As a visitor and customer experience this part of the city centre will be unrecognisable to how it was at the beginning of the year. The city council has worked with many partners and contractors to achieve these quite complex changes in such a busy area and we thank them all for their hard work and support to finish on schedule.”
Ian Strettle, Centre Director of Clayton Square Shopping Centre and Chairman of City Central Business Improvement District (BID), which represents more than 630 businesses, said: ‘‘The city council are to be applauded for their support to the retail sector, these works around Clayton Square and St Johns are a fantastic improvement, giving these area a fresh and modern appeal.
”The scheme will certainly provide a great boost to businesses in this part of the city centre, especially in the run to Christmas which is the most important time in the retail calendar.” • St Johns Market will be open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 5.30pm on Saturday – www.stjohnsmarket.uk and on Twitter @StJohnsMkt