A major makeover to Liverpool’s historic Ropewalks District has been completed.
Highways contractors for Liverpool City Council have now finished a £5m programme to revamp four key streets in the heart of one the city centre’s night-time hotspots.
The City Council received £5m from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund to undertake upgrades to Fleet Street, Colquitt Street, Back Colquitt Street and Ropewalks Square, which leads to one of the UK’s leading visual arts centres at FACT Liverpool.
Works included the replacement of all existing footway and carriageway surfaces, along with the installation of new street furniture, bins, bollards and street lighting.
This programme marked the second phase of highways enhancements to the Ropewalks District after the Council implemented £3.7m of improvements to Wood Street and Slater Street in 2021 and 2022.
Due to the historic nature of the rope-making industry, the area is characterised by long narrow streets each running parallel to each other – which in turn has led to congestion and safety issues – as the Ropewalks District developed into a dynamic cultural and creative centre.
This second phase of improvements began in February and were partially suspended in April and May when the city hosted Eurovision 2023.
The completion of this scheme coincides with FACT’s recent 20th anniversary celebrations and as the area prepares for its busiest time of year.
The Council’s Transportation and Highways team and their delivery partners are now progressing with the upgrade of more than 29 roads, through an £11m eco-friendly maintenance programme.
This follows the successful delivery of 70 schemes as part of the initial Highways Investment Programme that has been delivered to date across 2022 and 2023, which saw £19.425m invested in in highways infrastructure.
The HIP programme has been designed to improve the environmental footprint of highways construction and in phase one, 68 tonnes of CO₂ emissions were saved through de-carbonisation processes and 3,171 tonnes of hard to recycle waste diverted from landfill or incineration through specific recycling partnerships.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Sometimes our region’s streets can offer us a rare glimpse into our past and the communities we’ve inherited them from.
“Ropeworks is one of those places that has retained its own distinct industrial identity, and we want to protect that character and heritage for years to come.
“The investment we’ve made has helped to make our streets more accessible, cleaner and safer for everyone and ensure it has the proper infrastructure in place to keep growing its reputation as one of the most vibrant and creative hotspots in the city.
“This investment simply wouldn’t have been possible without devolution – it’s helping us to transform parts of our communities for the better.”
Councillor Dan Barrington, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Highways, said: “The Ropewalks District has developed over the past decade into a hugely popular destination and is now a vital engine in Liverpool’s creative and night-time economies.
“Due to the nature of the narrow roads and the sheer volume of people and traffic attracted to the area, congestion, air pollution and road safety have become big issues and the Council has been looking at ways to improve the experience especially for pedestrians and cyclists.
“Now completed, the Ropewalks District has the high quality public realm it deserves, and it will be a much safer, more accessible and more pleasant experience for all concerned.
“On behalf of the Council, I’d like to thank all the stakeholders, residents, business and visitors for their patience throughout this scheme.”