Elliot puts brakes on Beetham Plaza plans

The developer has asked Liverpool City Council not to register its application for the redevelopment of Beetham Plaza until a Heritage England assessment of the site’s ‘bucket fountain’ sculpture completes.

Elliot first revealed plans for the square after buying the site in January this year; proposals include building a 100-room aparthotel to be occupied by Epic, with Falconer Chester Hall as architect.

The developer is also proposing to relocate and refurbish the bucket fountain by Richard Huws and commissioned in 1962.

Heritage England is deciding whether or not to list the structure, which commemorates the start of the controversial Tryweryn Water Scheme, which led to the displacement of 70 residents of Capel Celyn village after it was flooded.

As a result, Elliot has paused the planning application for Beetham Plaza; if the listing is approved, then the developer will be able to submit supplementary documentation to support the re-siting of the fountain, before the main application is registered.

“We’re proud to own such a wonderful piece of Liverpool heritage and we’ve been clear that we want to ensure it continues to entertain and delight locals and visitors alike,” said Elliot Lawless of Elliot Group.

“Our issue has always been that it’s tucked away.  We’d like it to become a ‘must Instagram’ attraction for the city, but more seagulls find it each day than tourists and residents.  If we were to re-site it then more people could enjoy its wonderful engineering.”

On the potential listing, Lawless added: “In many ways we’d be pleased as it proves what a unique and special piece of sculpture it is.  Beetham Plaza was the designer’s fourth choice location and we’d argue it deserves to be somewhere more prominent, as was the original intention.

“Listing doesn’t preclude an item from being moved and we’d still consider pursuing this as we think it’s the best way of securing the fountain’s complete refurbishment whilst making it a more visible asset for the city.”

Potential sites for the fountain that have been put forward include Williamson Square.

The mixed-use Beetham Plaza was completed in the 1990s and includes 42 luxury apartments, the restaurants Etsu and Silk Road, 4,500 sq ft of offices, and an underground cark park.

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The Bucket Fountain is of its period – 60s – it wouldn’t be right in Williamson Square which has shaken off 60s interventions over the last 20 years or so (the notorious high-level walkways).
More importantly though, if it were designed to mark the start of Tryweryn we really should ask the Welsh. I trust Heritage England will do that. Tryweryn is still seen as a terrible tragedy in the Welsh heartlands and we should be very careful about using language that talks about wonderful heritage and seeming to celebrate what many still see as a disaster.

By Roscoe

Still think the bottom of Bold St by the Lyceum would be great, Williamson Sq already has a water feature.

By Movin Mo

I used to pass this area every day on the way to work, via the bridge over the strand. For a long time the fountain was not working and filled with stale dirty water and rubbish. Where were the objectors then and politicians who have jumped on the band wagon, acting as a “green knight or something?”. I believe it could be sited in a better position, maybe close to the entrance of LI on the strand or in that area.

By on the dock

I’m Welsh and never even knew about this fountain was in any way linked to Capel Celyn, which sort of proves Elliot’s point. There are better places in town for it to go where it’s story can be better conveyed. The bottom of Bold st is a good shout as that’s a dead space largely used by Deliveroo riders and nothing else at the moment. It’d be bounded on two sides which should be enough to create the noise required.

I don’t think Williamson square would be a good spot as I want that whole square torn up and redone anyway, with only the Playhouse surviving.

By Mr Welsh

Funny how the politicians were nowhere to be seen for years with regards to the fountain’s condition or
maintenance. Anyone would think there was an election tomorrow.

And even the quickest of internet searches told you about the fountain’s Welsh angle and yet some people have been spinning whoppers about it being a commemoration of the slave trade. They look a bit foolish now.

By Sceptical

As the the number of lanes of traffic are reduced on The Strand maybe it can find a central point. Needs to be a ‘modernist’ area to match the 60s innovation. The area by the entrance to Liverpool One has too much earlier history attached to it and already has the water features representing the Pool of Liverpool, and of course the Old Dock.
I imagine there’ll be lots of new spaces past the Liver Building when the roads are ‘greened’ into wide boulevards to link the business district with Liverpool Waters.

By Roscoe

Definitely should not be at the bottom of Bold Street.

By Roscoe

Not the bottom of Bold St it would look rediculous

By Anonymous

“Our issue has always been that it’s tucked away. We’d like it to become a ‘must Instagram’ attraction for the city” – VOMIT.

Can we not have pleasure in the unexpected or the hidden? How nice a revelation when you turn a nondescript corner and find something unique and interesting. Cities are layered and dense, less visited public areas are just as important as well travelled ones.

Lets just move every monument to a massive enclosure with plenty of parking and lighting so everything is all-in-one place and tourists don’t have to travel far. How convenient and good for Instagram.

Vile mealy mouthed platitudes from a developer who only cares about the bottom line.

By Du Be Ous

At least Primesite aren’t involved …

By Carl

If it ends up opposite Lime Street station, in the area marked for an ill-advised water feature, those in the council can expect to be asked questions.

By Mike

And, yes, “must-Instagram” speaks volumes.

Is that all our fine city is, and is for, these days? Yes, it seems so.

Perhaps if those who “steer” our city engaged more with adults, in particular in the UK’s business world, we would be seeing offices built on the Strand housing incoming businesses, rather than a never-ending sludge of cheap hotels accommodating and rinsing the crassest of England’s crass (who, by the way, have absolutely no spending power or influence beyond their drink, clothes and instagram circle).

There is a reason why Liverpool’s “5 star” hotel plans keep falling through of late. 5 star stayers are no longer arriving! Who can blame them!

By Mike

Oh, hey-up: Mike’s been on the bromide again.

Quite apart from his gloomy view of our city’s visitors, which isn’t borne out by the data or the evidence of my eyes, there’s a perfectly good reason why there are no five star hotels in the city – and Mike inadvertently touches on it himself.

Put simply, there aren’t enough large corporates headquartered here or with significant operations that generate room demand at that price point. Getting more offices built – see comments passim on anything to do with Bixteth Gardens – is but one part of this complex jigsaw.

Another lies with the completion of our cruise liner terminal. That will take the number of annual ‘calls’ to 120 ships initially, with scope to grow that beyond 200. That sort of volume will bring in sufficient numbers of folk wishing to start or end their holidays in absolute luxury.

Meantime, the same people actually like and use Instagram and as a medium it offers huge scope for showcasing Liverpool’s treasures worldwide, through people’s feeds. So don’t knock it: it’s a huge contributor to Liverpool’s visibility.

By Sceptical

I think the idea that it was about the slave trade comes from the big brass plaque that used to hang on it, declaring it was dedicated to the slaves trade…..just sayin

By Beetham Billy

@Beetham Billy – the plaque was put there by the Cammell Laird lads who built it, commemorating the site’s link to the slave trade, NOT the fountain’s, which was commissioned to commemorate Tryweryn. Merseyside Civic Society’s web site explains it – they commissioned it, after all.

Goree Piazza, as it was known, was named after the island of Goree to which Liverpool slavers would call to purchase slaves to sell in the Indies at the end of the second leg of the infamous triangular trade.

Just sayin…

By Sceptical

@Skeptical I’m not dissing Instagram as a medium, however there doesn’t seem to be any problem with photographing… sorry… instagramming… the fountain in its current location. The idea that it has to be moved to ‘make it instagramable’ is stupid.

By Du Be Ous

Don’t bother… the fountain will only get filled with Strongbow and puke

By Pink Panther

Ugly and unloved piece that would be better scrapped

By Carl

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