A WATERPARK, shops, restaurants and major cultural venues - all reached by a new Mersey ferry terminal - could be coming to the blighted International Festival Gardens site, it was revealed today.

Mayor Joe Anderson unveiled an ambitious outline for a new cultural garden suburb – Festival Park - created by Architects K2.

It would inclued:

Improved formal gardens with new public realm and landscaped areas;

Major cultural venues and independent retailers and restaurants

Fisheries and wildlife areas in the southern grasslands

Creation of new inlets and docks

A waterpark

Liverpool City Council said: “It also raises the prospect of the introduction of a Mersey Ferry landing stage and improved connection with the nearby St Michaels Merseyrail station.”

Its statement went on: “It also outlines the possibility of a ‘green’ residential development of up to 3,000 properties which would be powered for the next 70 years using an energy cell which would remediate waste at the site.”

The communique made no mention of likely costs or who might meet them.

The ambitious vision for the derelict Garden Festival site could see a new ferry terminalThe ambitious vision for the derelict Garden Festival site could see a new ferry terminal

Nevertheless, speaking this afternoon on the Blue Skies stage at IFB 2016, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “We have a bold and ambitious vision for the Festival Park. 

“It is a site which has languished without being properly developed for far too long, but we are determined for it to achieve its potential and become a major destination the entire city region can be proud of.

“We are at the start of a long term project to deliver a first class visitor and cultural destination with limited residential development on part of the site.

“Over the coming months we will be involving partners and local residents and getting their ideas and feedback. This is a site which very many people are very fond of, and it is vital that we take our time in getting this right.” 

K2 Architects, based in School Lane, formed part of the Liverpool delegation at MIPIM Cannes this year, leading with a theme of International Waterfronts.  

Director Kevin Horton said: “When we were approached to create a vision for the former festival gardens, we asked ourselves, how can we create long term sustainable value on one of the city’s most challenging sites?

“By transforming its legacy of problems into worthwhile opportunities we have created an ambitious vision for the waterfront that captures Liverpool’s modern character.

“It is aspirational and confident which further cements the city’s position as a desirable European destination.” 

Earlier this month, councillors gave the go-ahead to remediation work on nine acres of land adjacent to the Britannia Inn, seven acres of which could then be sold for a residential development. The council says the sale of the land for housing would generate a net profit to the city council, when allowing for the cost of treating the ground 

Contractors are also working on clearing overgrown vegetation on part of the site with a view to using it as events space during the summer months, ahead of remediation starting in the autumn.


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