Cash from developers to fund big public space projects in Liverpool

SHEEP grazing in fields in the Dingle and works of art lining the jiggers of County Road.

Nope, this isn’t Liverpool in the universe next door or the result of a magic mushroom party at the Town Hall. 

Rather, the surreal is about to become the all too real in a series of new “improvements” to public spaces -  financed by levies on new building schemes in the city.

A total of 13 projects, worth a combined £620,000, are to receive £275,000, through Section 106 agreements: the financial contributions local authorities often require developers to make when their projects are at the crucial planning decision stage.

Thus, £30,000 will turn the field next to the Florrie in Mill Street into a pastoral Eden, complete with bee hives, a wildflower garden and a flock of sheep enjoying grass - the sort of grass that sheep enjoy.

What are ewes looking at?

Meanwhile, around £40,000 will turn alleyways along County and City Road, in Walton, into veritable galleries with community spaces displaying artwork.

And £68,000 will be spent installing a new bridge to the island at Princes Park lake as part of £250,000 plans to create a memorial to Nelson Mandela to tie in with what would have been his 100th birthday in 2018.

The other big winners are in the north of the city, with a big tree planting scheme along Utting Avenue boulevard among them.

Deputy Mayor Councillor Ann O’Byrne, who chaired the subcommittee that made the recommendations, said: “This is about making sure that we target the money we receive from developers at projects that deliver significant environmental and other improvements.

“We are committed to making Liverpool a greener place to live, work and visit and these projects will make a real difference to communities across the city.”

Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for highways and neighbourhoods, said: “We are funding a range of projects that will improve the environment across the city.

“We have far less money available due to significant cuts in our funding from the Government so it is right and proper that we have a proper process for deciding how and where we spend Section 106 money, to make sure we get the maximum impact.”

A report to the Cabinet on Friday 15 December is recommending approval of the funding.

​The other projects are

• Plants and trees on the central reservation at Utting Avenue in Anfield - £35,000

• New pathways, trees, benches and shrubs at Lister Drive Playing Fields in Tuebrook - £33,000

• Improving Broadway Bridges in Clubmoor by painting or greening - £30,000

• Creating a new footpath into Croxteth Park - £15,000

• Hillfoot chicanes on footway in Allerton/Hunts Cross to prevent vehicles accessing open space - £10,114

• Greening alleyways in the Garston Triangle - £7,760

• Tree planting in Newsham Park as part of the One Tree Per Child project - £7,760

• Improvements to trees on Rice Lane Recreation Ground - £3,990

• Installation of fitness equipment around Croxteth Park - £3,000

• Energy saving lighting scheme at Tuebrook Hope Centre - £910