Lord Heseltine applauds Liverpool Garden Festival revamp

Lord Heseltine has welcomed the redevelopment of the Liverpool Garden Festival site.

He said: "I had always hoped that the redevelopment of the site would follow on from the Garden Festival in 1983. That was the concept. I am naturally pleased that it is now to happen even if it has taked a little longer than we envisaged!"

The Horticulture Week owner was commenting on Liverpool City Council giving the International Garden Festival's formal gardens the green light for a rebuild 10 years after they were closed.

Work will start in November after councillors gave regeneration firm Langtree the go ahead to start renovations.

The garden should reopen in late 2010.

To accept grant changes, the council and the developer Langtree agreed to defer a dowry to cover maintenance costs for five years.

HW reported in July that a £2.1m grant has been agreed, which will see the formal gardens site in Liverpool restored to their former glory and reopened to the public.

Langtree and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) the grant, which came about after work from NWDA, Langtree, Liverpool City Council, the Land Restoration Trust and Mersey Waterfront.

A separate contribution of £1.6m from the Northwest European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is also being considered for the scheme, bringing the total package of investment being sought to £3.7m.

Landscape and urban design firm Planit-ie managing director Peter Swift is working on the project.

Land Restoration Trust chief executive Euan Hall added: "The former Garden Festival site has been a blot on Liverpool's landscape for 25 years – finally a solution is in sight that will help make this the community asset it always should have been."


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