Business and arts leaders in Liverpool’s Fabric District have put together a vision document that will be submitted to Liverpool City Council, calling for the area to be recognised as a priority regeneration zone.
The submission to the council’s cabinet will coincide with the official launch of the area as an entity on 10 May, which will be followed by a three-day international free arts festival sponsored by Liverpool John Moores University and Birkenhead manufacturer FINSA.
The Fabric District takes its name from the area’s historic associations with the fashion and textile industries and is located between Islington and London Road, close to Lime Street at the top end of the Knowledge Quarter. Although the boundaries are ‘fluid, it covers around 86 acres. One of the proposals is for a ‘high street’ type emphasis on bars and restaurants on Stafford Street.
Over the past two years, stakeholders including business owners, property organisations including Regenda, community groups and Prof. John Hyatt, director of Art LABS at the Liverpool School of Art & Design, have worked on the Fabric District concept.
The vision document includes a detailed plan to revitalise the neighbourhood, with changes to its existing streetscapes, and identifies ways to make it more welcoming to both new businesses and to the public, as well as attracting new residents, in the same way the Baltic Triangle has developed in recent years.
The district has an active social media presence and its own section on the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool website.
Included within the area are buildings such as new venue The Reeds and The Tapestry on Kempston Street, which previously housed a family printing business before being re-purposed by owner Jason Abbott into a 25,000 sq ft creative hub including studios and workshops, plus a bar and events space. The Tapestry is currently 80% occupied.
Within the district, already home to several student accommodation buildings, an estimated 3,000 new rooms will be delivered for students and young professionals over the next three years. YPG’s Devon Street project is among these, while Town Square Development has plans for 180-plus apartments on the Hughes House site.
Abbott said: “This is the culmination of many months of work by all of us who believe 100% in the area’s potential.
“The cabinet submission along with May’s official launch are not just milestone events within the ongoing revitalisation of the area, but they also act to demonstrate our investment in and dedication to the scheme, and the commitment we share in driving Liverpool’s new Fabric District forward.”