A draft spatial regeneration framework for the area around Mathew Street and Williamson Square in Liverpool is set to go before the city council’s cabinet next Friday.
The draft SRF is part of the council’s plans to attract investment and guide the use of existing buildings, creating a “quality experiential visit” for tourists interested in Liverpool’s musical history.
If approved the Cavern Quarter/Williamson Square framework will go out to a five-week consultation.
The team delivering the SRF was chosen last October, made up of Planit-IE, planner Arup, Fourth Street Consulting on destination development and economics, Avison Young advising on property, Dave Pichilingi, founder of Sound City, on music history and event planning, and Rob Burns advising on heritage.
The draft SRF makes a number of recommendations across the Cavern Quarter, Whitechapel and Williamson Square.
In the Cavern Quarter, the focus will be on the daytime, and “resist proposals for further bars or nightclubs”.
Upper floors of buildings could be repurposed for music-related businesses, and the general street scene of the area improved, to “upgrade gateways”, use spaces for events and public art, improve street furniture and building facades, and animate blank walls and surfaces as part of a wider art and digital strategy.
In Whitechapel, the approach to Williamson Square and the Cavern Quarter would be updated with a mix of public art, trees, lighting, and improved wayfinding. There are also plans for a strategy to “celebrate and interpret the street as the original ‘pool of Liverpool'”.
On Williamson Square, the framework would see a redesign of the square to include flexible performance space, and improved public realm including seating and planting.
Some potential plots for development have also been identified. The framework mentions the possible redevelopment of the St Johns extension building, and use of the Dawson Street taxi rank siteif the taxis are relocated.
At the Playhouse, there are plans to expand its presence with spill out areas, and a programme of events.
The draft SRF states funding could come from a variety of sources, such as section 106, City Region grants and the European-funded Urban GreenUP programme.