Consultation launched for £40m Wolstenholme Square scheme

Elliot Lawless's company Elliot Group has announced plans for a redevelopment of Liverpool's Wolstenholme Square, with a mix of residential, commercial, leisure and retail uses contained within five blocks.

The proposals are to be unveiled to the community later in April, and are expected to include 370 apartments, alongside a new venue for club Cream and a performance space managed by collaborators from The Kazimier, which would relocate to another site.

The project, designed by Liverpool architect Falconer Chester Hall, will see the creation of new buildings ranging up to 10 storeys and a passageway through from Wolstenholme Square to Seel Street to improve the area's permeability.

The proposals, which include ground floor commercial space for cafes, restaurants and shops, club space and serviced and residential apartments, represent an investment of more than £40m should planning permission be granted.

The public is now being asked to comment on the plans before a planning application is submitted. An exhibition at Cream's home, Nation, is being held on Tuesday 28 April from 2pm to 8pm at which the public can see outline plans and register their views.

Lawless said: "We're not there yet as it's vital that the square's stakeholders get a chance to tell us what they think, but what's currently on the table is exciting and imaginative. We'll be bringing hundreds of construction jobs, providing new space for budding entrepreneurs and giving a real lift to what is a forgotten quarter of Ropewalks.

"The two clubs are emblematic brands for Liverpool and we're keen to support them. We've had some very positive discussions with both operators and although in its very early stages, the project presents them with a huge opportunity to do something exciting."

Wolstenholme Square was laid out in the mid-18th Century to provide homes for the city's merchant classes and, as with much of Ropewalks, evolved over time into a mixed commercial and industrial neighbourhood serving the docks. The square suffered during the Blitz, with architectural gems such as the Dutch-style Valspar paint factory lost to German air raids, to be replaced by the low-rise warehousing.

The plans represent the latest investment for Elliot Group after it secured planning permission for the refurbishment of the nearby Heap's Rice Mill under the One Park Lane brand. Work is expected to start on the £130m scheme later in the year.

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