The Festival Gardens site has lain vacant for more than 25 years. Credit: via archive

Ion buys out JV partner at 1,500-home Festival Gardens 

The developer plans to deliver the £700m, 28-acre Liverpool project alone after purchasing Midia’s stake. 

IGF Developments, a joint venture between Midia and Ion Property Developments, was selected by Liverpool City Council in 2018 to bring forward the 1,500-home Festival Gardens project. The authority had bought the site for from Langtree for £6m in 2015. 

However, Ion has now taken full control of IGF, buying out Midia by mutual agreement. 

Midia changed its name to Granite Turner last September after its two directors Steven Turner and Jason Granite.   But Turner resigned from the company earlier this month, according to Companies House. 

Granite Turner is also working with Chinese construction firm Beijing Construction Engineering Group International to deliver the £250m redevelopment of Crompton Place shopping centre in Bolton. Joint venture Bolton Regeneration’s plans feature a 110-bedroom hotel, 150 homes and 113,000 sq ft of office space. 

Granite Turner remains part of that joint venture, according to Companies House, which lists Granite as a director alongside BCEGI’s Dongwen Yu. 

In Liverpool, the Festival Gardens project would eventually see around 1,500 homes delivered, under a masterplan being drawn up by the city council and architects BDP and AHR.

Vinci Construction is partway through an extensive package of remediation to prepare the site for development. 

The former waterside landfill became a centrepiece of the International Garden Festival in 1984, before falling into a state of disrepair.

A planning application for the latest iteration of the project is expected in spring 2023. Subject to approval, construction of the first homes could begin in autumn 2023. The scheme’s projected completion is slated for 2031.

So far, the site has attracted a £9.9m investment from Homes England and £27m from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

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It would be interesting to hear what plans are being made to restore the gardens, especially the Japanese garden?

By Angela Davies

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