Everton Park Sky Pier on hold

Plans to build a Broadway Malyan-designed Sky Pier at Everton Park in Liverpool have been put on hold, after delays led to the loss of £900,000 of European funding.

Liverpool City Council said that it was still "absolutely committed" to the project, and was in talks with investment partners in order to put together alternative delivery plans for the scheme. The Sky Pier was scheduled to be completed by summer 2015.

Broadway Malyan won the design contest for the visitor's centre and exhibition space in March 2013, with a budget estimated at around £1.4m. The £900,000 European Regional Development Funding was given on the proviso that the scheme would be finished by autumn 2015.

In May 2014 the council estimated that costs had increased to around £2m, and agreed to underwrite £1.15m towards the project. Construction was due to begin by the end of 2014.

According to Mark Kitts, assistant director for regeneration at the council "you can almost add 50% to that [£1.15m] cost as a minimum. We've looked at a number of options to modify the sky pier to bring it back within that budget but they haven't been presented a viable or sustainable solution."

The plans for the Sky Pier featured a viewing platform with panoramic views across Liverpool, an information centre, event and gallery space, and a café.

Everton Park is owned, managed and maintained by Liverpool City Council. The Land Trust is a partner of the council and the Friends of Everton Park and is working to establish a sustainable approach to managing and maintaining the park.

Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration said: "We are still absolutely committed to the Sky Pier project. We are working hard with partners to identify ways of attracting the level of investment that is needed. If we are able to do that then the scheme is ready to move forward very quickly.

"We are also pushing ahead with other exciting projects to improve the park, including walking trails and other initiatives designed to make it a popular community green hub which benefits local residents. There is already a new heritage trail, a portrait bench highlighting the rich social history of the space, and the iconic and historic 'lock up' which features prominently on Everton Football Club's crest is permanently lit up. I think the future for Everton Park is really exciting and we are determined to put it on a par with some of the best parks in the world."

The alternative arrangements for funding Sky Pier are expected to be announced in the next few months.

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Is anyone surprised? A waste of council money, and an over elaborate design out of contest to elaborate a view that is already there. A couple of nice simple and cheap interventions as in the Norwegian fjords would of done the trick

By Debra

Pull the trigger Liverpool, if this was a new office for Joe, it would have went through very smoothly.. I despair at the state of our local government and I don’t blame Knowsley or any other surrounding council for not wanting to be attached to this local administration.

By Damien

I think Everton Park is more comparable with the ‘Park Güell’ in Barcelona than with the Norwegian Fjords. It’s an urban park with great potential to become the city’s main central park with fantastic views over the city and Liverpool Bay!

Check out the links:


By Paul BLackburn

The dead hand of LCC and Liverpool Vision all over this one I fear. Their level of incompetence beggars belief at times – even by their standards!

By John Brown

The geographical similarity with Barcelona was obvious to me when I went there in the early 90s, just before the Barcelona Olympics, when that city was probably much more like Liverpool and at the stage it’s at now. The views over the bay at Barcelona from ‘Park Güell’ reminded me instantly of the views from the emergent Everton Park. I lived in Anfield in the mid/late 80s and used to walk through there when the militants started clearing the Everton Park has had an unusual birth to say the least, from the siege of Prince Rupert to the grandiose plans of the militants to create a park to equal Sefton in the north of the city, it does have outstanding views, as no-one I think would argue, and it so centrally located to be a no-brainer that the city should develop its potential not just for locals but for the many visitors to the city that now keep the hotels full at weekends, and create jobs for the people of Everton and the rest of the city.

By Paul Blackburn

In my time at Liverpool this was one of the best schemes which was brought forward. I could think of many much more damaging ideas which could ruin the opportunity of this site so am delighted to hear the Council is committed to delivering the Sky Pier. This part of north Liverpool has amazing potential.

By Grant

They don’t seem that committed to me – they let European money walk through the door that was earmarked for the project! All talk at LCC and not much else.

By John Brown

Paul, I wasn’t questioning the potential of the site for the visitors and re-development at the benefit of the local community, simply saying that the scale of the proposed intervention is out of context and cannot be justified as a suitable use of public money. A couple of small well designed interventions similar in scale to that of the Trollstigen tourist route (link below) with a cafe/info space attached would be far more proportionate. Not a £1.5m pointlessly large, pointlessly expensive cantilevered building with what… a window? http://www.dezeen.com/2012/07/07/trollstigen-by-reiulf-ramstad-architects/

By Debra

Fair comment Debra. But I do admire the ambition, and I think that’s sometimes what it takes to lift a place to another level. Who would have believed in restoring the Albert Dock given the 1980s context of dereliction and decay and the lack of any guaranteed cost-benefit. I think the ambition for Everton Park is just what’s needed, and it’s realising that ambition that will change the context for the area and allow it to become a dynamic part of the city, maybe even on a par with the waterfront. All cities need a central park and Liverpool is a city with ambition to be up there with the best and that is to be admired.

By Paul Blackburn

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