Gower Street celebrates Albert Dock’s past and future

A campaign featuring events, a new audio tour and an online story-telling archive has been launched by Gower Street Estates to mark 25 years since the Albert Dock in Liverpool was regenerated.

Albert Dock: MAKING HISTORY will reflect the global significance and impact of Albert Dock and its place in Liverpool's economic, cultural and social history.

 Albert DockThe dock was designed by Jesse Hartley and opened in 1846. Hartley's revolutionary design helped turn Liverpool into a major port on the world's stage and by the early 19th century, 40% of the global trade passed through Liverpool's docks. However the Dock fell into decline from the 1860s until World War Two when it was used as a base for escort ships in the Battle of the Atlantic. In 1972 it was eventually abandoned until March 1981 when Lord Michael Heseltine set up the Merseyside Development Corporation to take over the responsibility of regenerating and redeveloping Liverpool's south docks. By 1988 the Docks had been revitalised and regenerated, becoming home to the Merseyside Maritime Museum and Tate Liverpool.

Today it is the largest collection of grade 1-listed buildings in the UK and over the last 25 years has become one of the most photographed, visited and iconic visitor attractions in the UK. It welcomes around 5m visitors each year with a growing international audience.

Peter Cronin, director of development and marketing at Gower Street Estates, said: "Albert Dock: MAKING HISTORY will celebrate what Albert Dock has achieved, but more importantly will look forward and shape Albert Dock's future. Albert Dock has always been a key part of Liverpool and as a changing and evolving city, Albert Dock will change and evolve also.

"Liverpool was built on its Docks and Albert Dock has played an important role in Liverpool's history. This significant 25th anniversary has given us the opportunity to tailor a programme of activity across the year that will encourage visitors to connect and build a new relationship with our historic and iconic Dock."

The campaign will include:

Making History Around the World

17 May 2013

Using the online app, makinghistory.albertdock.com, people will be invited to share their memories of the Albert Dock with the world. Local residents, expatriates and tourists, can tell the story of their visit or a special moment they associate with the dock, from a tale about a marriage proposal to a picture of a memorable day with the family.

Making History around the World will create a unique platform to share experiences of one of the most iconic tourist destinations in the world and thus demonstrating its global significance.

The web app will also give users the opportunity to reconnect with the Albert Dock and engage with other people's experiences and memories. Making History around the World is an international platform for people to engage with the Albert Dock even if they can't visit in person.

To celebrate the launch of the web app, Tate Liverpool will give its visitors the opportunity to share their memories on the app from a special station within the Tate Liverpool is 25 display, which will run from 17 May to 27 May 2013. Visitors will be able to continue sharing their memories of the Albert Dock, with the makinghistory.albertdock.com station having a presence in the gallery throughout the summer.

Voices of the Dock

August onwards

This summer, visitors will be taken on a listening tour, guided by voices from the past and present. Supported by experts at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Voices of the Dock will be an audio experience based around the colonnades of Albert Dock. Voices of people known and unknown who have contributed to the Albert Dock's history will share their stories and experiences from a personal perspective. The voices will give a mixture of historic facts as well as personal accounts; Prince Albert explaining his first impressions of the Dock in 1846, to current residents of the Albert Dock, describing how Albert Dock has changed over the last 25 years.

Making History: A City in Change


Gower Street Estates, trading as Albert Dock Liverpool, has officially invited Lord Michael Heseltine to take part in a panel discussion chaired by Place North West's editor, Paul Unger.

This free event will give members of the public and business people from across the region the opportunity to take part in a discussion about Albert Dock and its impact on the city. The panel will discuss the fortunes of Albert Dock and its regeneration since the Merseyside Development Corporation re-developed the dock, with Arrowcroft Properties. Senior representatives from the city and Albert Dock will be on the panel to discuss the changes Liverpool has seen and whether Albert Dock's transformation was a catalyst for this radical and positive change.

Making History Albert Dock

Gower Street Estates is the freeholder of the Albert Dock Estate and represents the interest of the major stakeholders.

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An event well-worth celebrating. I remember the endless discussions prior to renovation. Let’s hope there’ll now be renewed energy put into filling the empty units as the visitors keep on coming.


So fortunate that Prime Minister Thatcher visited and enabled the conservation and restoration of Albert Dock, Thanks to John Richie and the then Merseyside Dev Corp. for bringing Liverpool to the attention of Westminster and starting the process. Toxteth was the low point, Albert the high point in making Liverpool the recovery for all our ambitions.

By Rod Edwards