The building was given listed status last year. Credit: via Royal Pilgrim

Lidl pivots in Wavertree to overcome heritage obstacle  

The discount supermarket giant now plans to retain the grade two-listed Abbey Cinema and convert it into a store after backlash over earlier proposals to flatten the building. 

Lidl has launched a consultation on its revised proposals for a 13,500 sq ft shop in Wavertree. 

The company had previously said refurbishing the building, most recently occupied by the Co-Op, was “simply not economically viable”. 

However, Lidl’s initial plans were scuppered when the cinema was granted grade two-listed status by Historic England last year, forcing the company back to the drawing board. 

“We have listened carefully to feedback from residents and stakeholder groups, and believe our proposals are the most viable option to revitalise this area for the local community,” said Stuart Jardine, Lidl GB’s regional head of property. 

“We are pleased to present the new plans, which would not only deliver Lidl’s high quality and affordable produce to residents, but also retain and enhance the former Abbey Cinema building.” 

Designed by architect Sir Alfred Ernest Shennan and built in the 1930s, Abbey Cinema opened in 1939 and closed in 1979 before being used as a bingo hall and snooker hall. 

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This is good news as a decent size supermarket is needed in this locality, however I would like Lidl to use some imagination here with the upper parts of the building which could be configured into flats, for example like the conversion of an old cinema in Battersea at the junction of St Johns Hill and Plough Road near Clapham Junction station.
Failing that it could be used as a modern storage facility.

By Anonymous

The demolition of this building should never have been on the table.
Lidl now look really foolish and iconoclastic.
Well done to all who campaigned!

By 1981

Great news.

By Digbuth O'Hooligan

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