Liverpool City Council’s next Strategic Regeneration Framework is to focus on the Cavern Quarter, with the council’s next cabinet meeting asked to approve the development of a masterplan around Mathew Street.
The SRF for the area around Mathew Street, home of the Cavern Club will enable the council to control future use of buildings and attract new investment into a part of the city that remains a magnet for tourists as the focal point of the Beatles heritage industry that is worth an estimated £90m a year to the city.
Nor is the Beatles industry slowing down – the city said that it is growing at 5 % to 15% a year, with Cavern City Tours and the Cavern Club now attracting 800,000 visitors per annum and 80% of the Hard Day’s Night Hotel guests classed as international.
The masterplan, which is expected to go out to public consultation in the autumn and would include giving the city council Compulsory Purchase powers, will be guided by the findings of a scrutiny panel established in 2016 which recommended:
- A more diverse mix of complementary uses of buildings that operate 24 hours a day
- An enhanced and more coordinated Beatles tourism offer with new visitor attractions and information/interpretation points
- The redevelopment of derelict, under-used and undesirable sites
- A comprehensive public art strategy for the Cavern Quarter
- A way-finding strategy to make the Cavern Quarter more legible and permeable
- Active ground floor uses to create a more vibrant and inviting environment
- Creating a more defined and useable public open space
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: “The Beatles are known the world over and not just by those who grew up with them, new audiences are discovering their music all the time and wanting to learn about the band’s roots.
“The fact is we have a good Beatles tourism offer but it’s not at the level it could and should be – one that has a world-class wow factor that reflects the band’s timeless genius and global impact.
“A lot of progress has been made in the past decade and this new masterplan will seek to build on that and give us the tools to enhance the 24 hour appeal of the area around The Cavern and Mathew Street.” Anderson has set up a Beatles Legacy group.
The Cavern Quarter is classed as the area between North John Street to the west and Stanley Street and Paradise Street to the east, with Victoria Street to the north and Lord Street to the south, with Mathew Street at its heart.
Once produced, the draft SRF will undergo a formal consultation period over a six-week period, with feedback influencing the final draft of the document before the city council considers whether to formally adopt it.
Liverpool City Council recently produced and endorsed an SRF for the Ten Streets Creativity District and is currently tendering the production of further SRFs for the expansion of The Baltic Triangle around Sefton Street, along with the Knowledge Quarter Gateway.