As Liverpool enters the 2020s, we take a look at the plans and schemes which are set to shape the city for the decade ahead.
In many ways this is a pivotal year as a series of transformational developments are set to begin – or complete – which will transform Liverpool well into the 21st century.
The city has become accustomed to growth – fuelled in part – by its hugely successful year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Its waterfront has been reborn with a multi-billion pound makeover and the city that gave the world cruise ships, is once again welcoming visitors to shore. The King’s Dock and Liverpool ONE have added an entire new dimension to the city’s offer and economy, creating a new rosta of venues and attractions to add to an already embarrassment of riches in world class museums and galleries.
The past two decades have been a story of gradual growth, of ambition turning into reality, of a new confidence emerging as schemes are delivered on time and to budget.
So at the start of this decade, let’s look at the 10 key schemes that are set to make headlines in 2020 and beyond.
Paddington Village is Liverpool City Council’s flagship development. Similar in size to Liverpool ONE, when it completes it will boast 1.8m sq ft of new science, technology, education and health space creating one of Europe’s leading innovation districts. The former site of the now relocated Archbishop Blanch High School, has been completely transformed in the past 18 months and development is now reaching peak activity. At the start of the year, the first scheme – the University of Liverpool’s International College – welcomed its first cohort of students. Another key milestone has also recently been reached with the topping out of The Spine – the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) new £35-million northern headquarters. The 160,000 square foot building is the first Grade-A office building in the Liverpool City Region for more than a decade – and will be one of the ‘healthiest’ buildings in the UK when it opens next year. A low-carbon heating facility is currently under construction, as is the new Rutherford Cancer Centre, which will use pioneering proton beam therapy treatment.
More Grade A office space is on its way. Kier Property and CTP are set to start the £200m Pall Mall scheme in Liverpool’s Commercial Business District this summer. Boasting 400,000 sq ft of new Grade A office space, the first phase of the development will include a 281-bedroom hotel, to be operated by Leonardo, along with a new green park. Planning permission for the three-acre site was granted last October. Contractor Willmott Dixon have completed the site remediation and Scottish Power Energy Networks are in the process of installing a new substation, which has been supported by funding from the city council and Liverpool City Region’s Strategic Investment Fund.
The 28-acre site next to the iconic Festival Gardens has lain dormant for more than 20 years. Liverpool City Council is working in partnership with Homes England and the Liverpool Combined Authority to pave the way for a residential planning application for 1,500 ‘eco-friendly’ homes by the summer of 2020. The city council’s intention is to facilitate site remediation and ground infrastructure works and then sell the land to IMGF Developments Ltd, for the delivery of new homes. The aim is to create “a sustainable new waterfront community for South Liverpool” which would include extended parkland and enhanced southern grasslands for outdoor recreation and nature conservation.
Liverpool City Centre Connectivity Scheme – Lime Street
This £47m upgrade to the city centre’s highways network is well underway. Work has already been completed on Moorfields and improvements to Victoria Street – and a new city bus hub on Old Haymarket – are also almost finished. However, the programme steps up a gear in May when works begin to transform two major roads – Lime Street and The Strand. Lime Street is to be reduced to a single carriageway in both directions, St George’s Plateau will be extended and a new water feature will be added to the southern end. South of Lime Street station will also become single-lane for northbound traffic – including buses – they will no longer be able to travel past the old ABC cinema and Holiday Inn hotel and instead will need to take a left or right at the Adelphi Hotel junction.
Liverpool City Centre Connectivity Scheme – The Strand
The Strand is to be radically redesigned with 11 junctions being upgraded and some being phased out to allow traffic to flow better. Pavements are to be widened to make it safer and quicker for pedestrians to cross the busy highway, which will also mean less stopping time for cars. As well as new public spaces at the Liver Building and Mann Island, 150 trees are to be planted and a 1.8km segregated cycle lane installed. The overall effect will be to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
Bramley Moore Dock – completion of Regent Road / A565
More than £100m is being invested in transport infrastructure along Liverpool’s North Shore, to improve links to the city centre. The new dual carriageway being created on Great Howard Street (A565) is set to complete in April. At the adjacent Waterloo/Regent Road, improvements such as a new segregated cycle lane (which will connect with the new one being created on the Strand) is almost complete. These works will greatly benefit the development of the Ten Street Creativity District – and subject to planning – Everton FC’s new football stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, if it is approved.
New Cruise Liner Terminal
With planning approval in place, and combined authority funding approved, Liverpool City Council is now awaiting approval from The Marine Management Organisation for a Harbour Revision Order to allow the construction of the new Terminal to begin. If granted, site preparation works for the new facilities would be expected to start in the summer of 2020. The 10,000 sq m terminal will be built on a suspended deck on steel piles in the river, spanning two floors. It will boast a baggage hall on the ground floor, with the passenger lounge, café and check-in on the first floor. The scheme will also include new public open space, hard and soft landscaping, and associated car and coach servicing arrangements. Planning permission has also been obtained for a new 4*, 200 room hotel, to support the new terminal and enhance the city’s capabilities in handling the next generation of turnaround cruises, which can carry up to 3,600 passengers.
Isle of Man Ferry & new link road
Just a few hundred yards upriver from the site of the new Cruise Terminal, lies the site of the new Isle of Man Ferry Terminal. This £38 million development, the first mainland funded project by the Isle of Man Government, will be constructed at Prince’s Half-Tide Dock, within the city’s World Heritage Site. The terminal is half a mile downriver of the current Pier Head facility, which will be taken out of use once the new facility is completed in the summer of 2021. It is predicted that the development will generate £3.2 million for the regional economy, and development opportunities are expected to attract further investment to the docklands. A link road is currently under construction, with the £7 million cost being funded by Liverpool City Council as part of its £500m Better Roads programme.
To the south of the city’s Pier Head and the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, lies what was until recently a wind-swept car park. Today, Liverpool’s King’s Dock is known around the UK as an award-winning arena and conference complex. Liverpool City Council is now looking to complete the final phase of this remarkable transformation. Having purchased the remaining 7.6 acres of prime waterfront development land, the council is inviting tenders in a two-stage bidding process for 7 undeveloped plots, ranging from 0.45 acres to 2.79 acres. The council is open to working with a number of potential developers to deliver individual – or multiple plots – for a high quality, mixed use development incorporating leisure use. The city council is seeking offers from interested parties who have proven experience and track record in delivering high quality landmark schemes, with a focus on working with the city council to deliver at pace.
When it comes to world famous venues, it’s hard to beat Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium. The home of the current World and European Champions – and run away Premier League leaders – has come a true sporting cathedral over the past few years. After an expansion in 2018 to 54,000 seats, Liverpool FC is now looking to increase its capacity again – by a further 7,000 at the Anfield Road end. Following public consultation, a planning application is expected this spring. If approved, Anfield would be the third biggest premier league stadium in the country.
Whilst the club’s ambitions will rightly dominate the headlines, the Anfield community is also undergoing a huge amount of change. A £2m environmental improvement programme is underway including tree-lined pedestrian areas, private side gardens and secure compounds for communal waste bins, providing a facility never previously available for residents of homes with restricted-space alleyways. The Council is close to securing deals for new and refurbished retail frontages on Walton Breck Road. After a £255m investment drive, a total of 1,200 new homes will have been created in the community. Stanley Park has also had improvements and talks are currently underway on creating a new hotel near the stadium. The final piece of the jigsaw will involve public realm improvements to Walton Breck Road, including traffic calming, improved pedestrian movement, and resurfacing and planting to soften and visually uplift the area. The works will create a new heart to the High Street and integrate surrounding communities, and the wider components of the Anfield Regeneration Project. Discussions are taking place with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority regarding potential grant funding to deliver these essential works.
Of course, this is just a selected snapshot of some of the eye catching schemes that are set to change the face of Liverpool. There are many more. If you would like to dig further and deeper into the city’s regeneration landscape, or are keen to be kept abreast of developments, then please go toregeneratingliverpool.com