Festival Park - a masterplan for regeneration

Above: Artist's impression of the proposed development

The former International Festival Gardens site has been purchased by Liverpool City Council. The 90-acre site now known as Festival Park is located next to the River Mersey and within three miles of the city centre.

The site presents a unique development opportunity for mixed-use regeneration and is made up of:

  • The Festival Gardens which underwent a £3.7 million refurbishment in 2011 - approximately 25 acres.
  • The southern grasslands - approximately 37 acres.
  • A 27-acre development zone at the northern end of the site which has outline planning consent for a 1,380 unit residential development with additional retail and leisure facilities. This consent is valid until December 2022.

The area was formerly a landfill site. Preliminary investigation has given us a better understanding of any issues that need to be addressed as a result of its former use. A more detailed investigation will start in March 2017 and a remediation strategy will then be implemented in autumn or winter 2017 to produce a development-ready site for prospective developers.

Our vision for the future

We have commissioned K2 Architects to produce a vision for the regeneration of the site. View K2 Architect's vision online. You can also download and view the masterplan document.

This vision is a more comprehensive approach than earlier ones,  with the objective of delivering a truly mixed-use scheme in a number of distinct neighbourhoods with benefits for the local community and the city as a whole. The intention is to generate interest in the site from developers and investors who will work working in partnership with the council and the city to shape the masterplan.

What's involved?

This ambitious vision proposes to:

  • Deliver up to 2,500 homes in a range and mix of types, served by a high-quality public realm, local shops, cafes and restaurants, and other community facilities, potentially including a primary school and cultural buildings.
  • Create a major leisure destination, whilst retaining and revitalising the public open space, the festival gardens and the southern grasslands with opportunities for sport, recreation and nature conservation. There will be variety of building scale and typology that will add a richness and diversity to the scheme.
  • Create variety of buildings both in scale and type that will add a richness and diversity to the scheme.
  • Create new land built into the river, potentially including a ferry terminal.
  • Provide for greater ease of access across the site with a focus on pedestrian and cyclist routes.
  • Provide a green transport corridor will be created to accommodate bus services, whilst connections to Priory Wood and St Michaels Station will also be enhanced.

Public consultation feedback

Following a public consultation undertaken in November and December 2016, the following feedback was received.

  • A largely supportive response was given to the mixed-use approach to development.
  • A positive response was given to the provision of shops and community facilities to support residential living especially as this would help to address a current deficit in this area.
  • Support was given for a more sustainable approach to ground remediation.
  • The preservation and enhancement of the gardens and grasslands was widely welcomed.
  • Alternative transport measures that help to tackle existing traffic problems on Riverside Drive were considered essential. There was also a general desire for public access along the waterfront and across the wider site.
  • There was also a general desire for public access along the waterfront and across the wider site.

What happens next?

We will to work with development partners to shape the masterplan and address the concerns raised through the public consultation. The aim is to create a deliverable masterplan that benefits the local community and wider city region.

The refined proposals will inform a modified masterplan that will be presented to Cabinet in Spring 2017 with a recommendation that this strategic project is taken forward as a council priority. The agreed masterplan will then serve as a development framework and inform a future planning application.

Need to know more?

If you'd like to ask a question about this regeneration project please contact nik.puttnam@liverpool.gov.uk.