Liverpool’s £50m heritage investment

News reports this week have said that Liverpool City Council could be about to invest £50m into rejuvenating the city’s most “at-risk” historic areas. Sites such as Calderstone’s Mansion House, Woolton Baths, Calderstones Park and Anfield Catacombs are all likely to see the benefits as this money will be used to protect the area’s culture and heritage.

Liverpool is renowned for its history and it is estimated that around 75 million tourists visit the city each year, meaning that such sites generate huge investment, in the form of tourism, for the local economy.

A recent report to the Council’s Cabinet stated that the number of at-risk, listed buildings had dropped to a 24 year low, with 50 sites from across Merseyside being removed from the at-risk register. It is clear that Liverpool City Council is keen to capitalise on this success and remove even more.

This represents a slight change of direction for the City Council and most notably for its elected Mayor, Joe Anderson. It was only in 2012 that UNESCO had placed Liverpool on its “in danger list” following fears that a multi-billion redevelopment of the Liverpool waterfront would affect the city’s World Heritage status. Joe Anderson had previously been a critic of this stance, saying that “I have always believed there is a way forward which will allow us to redevelop the North Liverpool Docks and secure the massive investment and badly-needed new jobs.” Now, however, it seems that heritage is starting to climb higher on the agenda of Liverpool City Council and representing a whole new opportunity for developers, particularly those with experience in regenerating listed and historically significant sites.

With at least £50m being used for these projects there will no doubt be an interest in how the Council will move forward with these plans and how, if at all, those in the private sector can be a support as Liverpool seeks to build on its status as one of the top tourist destinations in the UK.

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Sounds good, Calderstones Mansion is looking so sad and neglected and of course was the residence of one of the Cunard Line founders. Certainly I was embarrassed to see it so poorly cared for by LCC during the 175 years festivities this year.

By Charles Hubbard