Liverpool festival site reopens after 28 years of controversy and neglect

Spectators who visited the International Garden Festival in Liverpool nearly 30 years ago have made a return visit to the newly reopened landscape.

Gates to the iconic gardens near the River Mersey, restored recently by Langtree and now managed by the Land Trust, swung open again on a site neglected and mired in controversy for 28 years.

Land Trust chief executive Euan Hall said: "The people of Liverpool have a wonderful new asset on their doorstep. It has taken a lot of goodwill and blood, sweat and tears to get to this point but we expect everyone to be thrilled with the results."

The £4.5m redevelopment blends original features such as Chinese pagodas, Japanese gardens and water features with new landscaping and paths. The park is now known as the Festival Gardens following the two-year restoration.

The 1984 International Garden Festival was the first of its kind in Britain and billed as a five-month "pageant of horticultural excellence". More than three million people visited the site, which only two years before had been a rubbish dump.

The festival, including more than sixty individual gardens, pavilions and a mini railway, was one of the first major projects by the Merseyside Development Corporation, set up to help regenerate the city following the Toxteth riots of 1981.

A trust spokesman said this week: "Tens of thousands of people have visited since the opening at the end of June. Lots of people who came to the original garden festival in 1984 have returned to see the new park and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Locals are also very keen to get involved: We have been inundated with requests from people who want to volunteer at the park and have already got 30 signed up and active and many more people chomping at the bit to get involved."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.


Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space
 

Read Noel Farrer