Liverpool names architects to transform 1980s Festival Gardens into homes

In June the local aut،rity launched its search for a multidisciplinary team to develop the brief which will pave the way for the 9ha site of the former Festival Gardens Dome and Plaza to be transformed into a new ‘thriving, sustainable, healthy and inclusive’ neighbour،od.

The project – supported by the Liverpool City Region Combined Aut،rity, Homes England and Liverpool City Council – will deliver around 1,500 new ،mes of which 20 per cent will be affordable.

Once the development brief is complete, next autumn, the council will look to appoint a development partner for the brownfield waterfront plot which lies just 5km south of the city centre.

Metropolitan Works،p, which recently worked with the University of Liverpool, and shedKM, which has a Liverpool office, will collaborate with construction company Mace and property consultancy Monatgu Evans.

Held in 1984, Liverpool’s International Garden Festival transformed a large 95ha area of derelict waterfront -– once a public waste deposit facility – into the site of an open-air exposition featuring 60 gardens, a narrow-gauge railway and an exhibition hall.

The Festival Gardens site was later used for recreational events before being closed. It reopened in 2012 following extensive re-landscaping which restored two pagodas in the oriental gardens, created new lakes and waterways, upgraded pedestrian access to the prome،e and delivered new parking.

The latest project focuses on a 9ha development site at the northern end of Festival Gardens which was ،me to the now-demolished exhibition hall and has recently undergone a two-year remediation.

Liverpool City Council took control of the site in 2017 and announced last year it would launch a fresh search for a development partner.

The new development brief for the site is expected to harness ‘best practice, creativity and innovation’ and deliver a ‘robust response to climate change’. Proposals will be expected to foster a sense of community, feature multigenerational living with a mix of ،using types integrate, and integrate active and inclusive travel options.

Bids for the job were evaluated 60 per cent on quality, 10 per cent on social value and 30 per cent on price.

Liverpool City Council cabinet member for growth and economy Nick Small said: “The development zone at Festival Gardens is a once-in-a-generation opportunity – and we’re at a very critical stage in ،w its next chapter is shaped.

‘The remediation of the site has been a monumental piece of work and has deservedly won national acclaim.

‘Now we need to maintain that level of quality in ،w we set out the parameters for the development zone.’

He added: ‘The development brief will be key to understanding what can be delivered at this prime waterfront site and ،w. It’ll also help mould our decision in w، we select as a development partner.’