Another deadline passes for festival park opening

Developer Langtree and park manager the Land Trust said they cannot put a precise date on when the restored Liverpool Festival Gardens will open after missing their latest proposed date of 'early November'.

Despite the large sign outside the site stating Liverpool Festival Gardens 2011, Langtree and Land Trust have little more than five weeks in which to open before that sign becomes slightly misleading. The main reason for the delay is completing work following the collapse of original contractor Mayfield, which went into administration in July.

John Downes, managing director of Langtree, said: "A great deal of work and investment has gone into making Festival Gardens somewhere that the people of Liverpool can be proud of and we are as excited as anyone to see this beautiful space reopened to the public.

"The collapse of our original contractors, Mayfield, created a challenging set of circumstances as the site approached completion. However, we remain on course to achieve practical completion of our works by the end of November.

"Once development is completed, management of the site will pass to the Land Trust and a date for the formal opening will be announced."

Alan Carter, head of portfolio at The Land Trust, said: "Following practical completion anticipated at the end of November and site hand over, the Land Trust will undertake a period of commissioning [testing] on the run up to a formal opening of the gardens.

"We, alongside our managing agents Groundwork Merseyside, hope to involve the local community, who will be invited to visit the site within the commissioning period and we would ask any interested parties to keep an eye on our website and social media channels for further details.

"This remains an exciting project for the Trust and we look forward to working with our various partners to ensure this is a true 21st century destination."

Work on the £3.7m restoration of the gardens, part of the International Garden Festival in 1984, began in February 2010. The restoration was partly funded by the North West Development Agency. The project team included landscape advisors Planit-IE and quantity surveyors WCP Associates.

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