Liverpool seeks partners for creation of unique 'cultural garden suburb'

A vision to transform 90 acres including the former International Garden Festival site in Liverpool into a "cultural garden suburb which will have no equal in the UK," has been revealed by the city's Mayor.

Vision for part of Liverpool's proposed Festival Park - image: Liverpool City Council
Vision for part of Liverpool's proposed Festival Park - image: Liverpool City Council

Liverpool City Council has sent its largest ever delegation to international property festival MIPIM in the south of France to look for development partners to transform the site by the River Mersey, to be renamed Festival Park Liverpool.  

Festival Park comprises the Northern Development Zone around 11 hectares, the 10-hectare Festival Gardens which underwent a £3.7 million refurbishment in 2011 and the Southern Grasslands, about 15 hectares.

A masterplan for the site features includes improvements to grasslands, better transport links, a potential lighthouse and a ferry terminal alongside 2,500 homes.

There is a current outline planning consent for a 1,380 unit residential development on part of the site, valid until December 2022.

The city council, which took control of the site last year, held a public consultation in November and December last year to gauge feedback on its draft masterplan. An updated masterplan will be submitted to the council’s Cabinet in the next six weeks. K2 Architects is the landscape architect.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson called the area "a unique development opportunity" and a "hugely important site".

"We need a partner, or partners, to help realise the vision and create a cultural garden suburb which will have no equal in the UK.

"The site is fully owned by the city council and we see the Festival Park as a key component of Liverpool’s future prosperity, addressing the need for more quality homes and complementing what the city is achieving at the Knowledge Quarter and Liverpool Waters."

A recommendation will be submitted that Festival Park Liverpool is taken forward as a strategic priority and once approved, the refined masterplan will serve as a development framework to inform any future planning applications.

Following MIPIM, where Mayor Anderson was also due to take part in a panel discusssion on waterfront regeneration today, a set of land surveys and environmental assessments will also be undertaken before site excavation works begin.

Liverpool City Council’s Regeneration department is currently overseeing £11bn of developments across the city.

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