Regeneration of Liverpool's 'Atlantic Corridor' is making waves in Kirkdale
CAN regeneration and conservation complement each other? UNESCO might not think so, but as Liverpool’s Ten Streets vision continues to become a reality, the area around the North Docks is seen by many as a great example of how it can be achieved.
With new bars, retail and creative businesses, it feels like there’s a quiet revolution happening in Kirkdale
Stanley Dock opened in 1848, designed by the Victorian engineer Jesse Hartley. It sits proudly at the centre of the largest and most complete system of historic docks anywhere in the world.
In 1901 Liverpool had a dream to build the biggest warehouse the world had ever seen - a building fit for a thriving city at the heart of global trade. But times move on, dreams fade and fortunes change. The Tobacco Warehouse fell into disuse and disrepair.
Now, this iconic beast of a structure is being transformed into waterfront apartments. It’s just one part of a much wider regeneration project that is seeing this Atlantic Corridor returning to its former glory.
The Ten Streets vision was launched in 2017 with big ideas to regenerate the northern edge of the city centre. Sitting immediately next to Peel Holding’s £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme, Liverpool City Council sought to do its own thing by creating a "Cultural Enterprise Industry Hub".
The council has been keen to attract creative companies and arts organisations and now the area is being brought back to life.
The Heritage Market that resided in Stanley Dock for more than 30 years is now long gone. But with new bars, retail and creative businesses, it feels like there’s a quiet revolution happening in Kirkdale.
Former warehouses are being converted into premises for start-up businesses in the artistic, creative and digital fields, and the population is expected to significantly increase in the coming years.
With the relocation of Everton to Bramley Moore Dock and the first kick off expected in 2024, what was once an industrial outpost of the North Docks has become home to a range of original places - and ticking them off your to-do list is a must.
The Titanic Hotel & Rum Warehouse has won multiple awards for heritage, regeneration and operations. Location, architecture and space have helped to make this a destination hotel offering luxury in an imposing setting. It builds upon its Victorian splendour with 21st century facilities and comfort, including a spa, restaurant and a bar.
Ready for a drop or two of rum? The staff at Stanley’s Bar know their Flor de Cana 7 from their Flor de Cana 2. Stay snug from the comfort of the bar or venture outside for a night on the cobbles and spectacular views of these Victorian red-brick buildings. Big-budget movie and television productions filmed at Stanley Dock include Captain America: The First Avenger, Sherlock Holmes, Peaky Blinders, and The Ruby in the Smoke.
One of the city’s leading coworking communities, Make Liverpool offers a range of activities and workspace options across its two locations in the Baltic Triangle and North Docks. Spread over three floors and a huge warehouse area, Make North Docks hosts a variety of events and courses, including woodwork, life drawing, sewing, and perfume making, plus there’s a wonderful Italian roastery and coffee shop courtesy of Caffè Riccardo.
Although Cotton Street once wouldn’t have been seen as natural territory for a craft market, the Ten Streets Market has changed all that and has become one of the best places to come for a family friendly mooch. Anything from tie-dyed clothes and vintage furniture to baby plants and cakes can be found here. Whatever you’re after it’s safe to say you’ll have invested in something that is a little bit different from the run of the mill fare of the high street. Ten Streets Market reopens 29 January 2022.
Hidden away on the quieter Dublin Street, this independent wine shop is a family-owned business with quality at its heart. The wine list has been thoughtfully put together with grapes from around the world, and they can deliver across Liverpool and over to the Wirral. The tasting room is perfect for those of us who like to try before we buy. Well, who doesn’t? While you're grabbing some vino, be sure to get a snap of the Dublin Street doorway made famous by Bob Dylan in 1966.
Having moved from their much-loved digs in Wolstenholme Square in 2016, The Kazimier gang have at least benefited from the bigger space that the Invisible Wind Factory in the North Docks has afforded. The imposing warehouse has hosted gigs from some of the most innovative and interesting artists including Ibibio Sound Machine and Fat White Family, as well as some crazy Circus club nights.
The Invisible Wind Factory is also happy to veer off from what’s expected: it’s much more than a gig venue - it’s a creative space where anything feels possible. It’s hosted classical music concerts, roller discos, craft markets, a winter ball (which is part club night, part art installation, part live performance) and workshops where the Kazimier’s famous light shows come to life. It’s a special space which offers something that little bit different and which is integral to the cultural life of the city.
One of the original public houses on the Dock Road in Kirkdale. The sign outside says 1758 which must make it one of the oldest pubs in Liverpool. The clientele at The Bramley are currently made up of loyal regulars, but once Everton are in their new home this pub will undoubtedly enjoy bus loads of punters looking for a drink before the game. Enjoy a game of darts and a quiet pint while you can...
Dynamic, creative and full of charm - Ten Streets Social brings great food, live music and a whole lot more to one of the most exciting areas of the city. Eating with mates, late night drinks, acoustic nights from up and coming new acts- it’s all happening here. Food menus have got you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with small plates and seasonal favourites, plus a banging Sunday roast that will make your weekend.
In addition to the big boys at Pirate Studios, this part of town is also home to Vulcan, Liverpool's longest established rehearsal rooms that have been providing a friendly environment for bands and artists since 1979. As well as offering a live recording room for demos, singles and albums, Vulcan offers more than 16 different sized rehearsal spaces for the next Beatles, Las, or Circa Waves. Anything from solo guitarists to death metal bands and everything else in-between are catered for.
A real treat for gin fanatics is this artisanal distillery and bar where the small team prepare their batches on site and supply it to local bars and restaurants. As soon as you step inside, the passion for the product is evident. The copper stills and long wooden tables give it a homely and warm atmosphere. Innovative flavours such as orange and passion fruit and pomegranate and kaffir lime are offered. But don't worry if gin’s not your tipple - the fully stocked bar with all the usual favourites will ensure everyone gets into the spirit of having a good time.
You won’t find the wonky walls of Acorn Antiques at this former black cab showroom on Great Howard Street, but you will find an Aladdin’s cave of retro furniture, quirky collectibles, vintage clothing and mid century interiors and artefacts. Antiques dealer Steve Swainbank has nearly 40 years' experience in the business. Lose yourself for a couple of hours with lots of interesting oddities - records, toys, paintings, boats, motorbikes, books and lots more besides. Liverpool Antique Centre has a claim to fame too, having appeared on Celebrity Antiques Road Trip in 2021. If it’s good enough for Crissy Rock and Scarlett Moffatt, then it’s good enough for us. A gem of a place.
Read next: An insider’s guide to the Baltic Triangle
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