South John Street in Liverpool One

Grosvenor’s ‘theatre of fashion’ for Liverpool One launch

Circus artists and breakdancers will be among the acts performing for the public as the £1bn retail project welcomes its first shoppers next Thursday.

Grosvenor plans a day of street performance for the eagerly anticipated first phase opening, billed not unreasonably by the developer as the "biggest day of the year so far for Liverpool".

Attractions will include:

  • 10am key speeches at Liverpool One's entrance on South John Street / Lord Street
  • Followed by street opening, pyrotechnics and an acrobatic show to reveal the view down South John Street – the main artery that links the new Debenhams to John Lewis
  • Fashion catwalk along South John Street at 10.30am, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm and 6pm
  • Ambient acts between 10am and 8pm including stilt walkers, aerial artists and street dancers
  • Cirque Du Soleil performer and champion B Boy Dancer will 'amaze onlookers as they perform'
  • Aquatic themed walkabout acts will parade the streets in celebration of the reconnection of the city to the waterfront allowing natural flow through the urban space and connecting areas of the city that have not been adequately linked for years
  • Local schools take part in a hat parade and choreographed dance shows.

Joanne Jennings, chief executive of Liverpool One, said: "This is the beginning of the rebirth of Liverpool city centre. After years of design and building work we can throw down many of the fences around Liverpool One and let the people know exactly what we've been doing. I think people will be amazed with what we've achieved so far and hope that it will give them a better idea of what we will have achieved by the grand launch of Phase 2 on 30 September.

"Reconnecting the city centre to the waterfront is something we have worked very hard to achieve and we hope that because of this people will realise that Liverpool One is not just about the fabulous shopping and leisure on offer but about changing the face of the city itself… for the better."

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are due to tour the site this Thursday, 22 May, as part of a state visit to Liverpool.

The first phase opening will see the majority of the 70 shops, 1m sq ft, start trading. The first phase is 90% let. The overall scheme, including first and second phases, is 80% let and totals 1.6m sq ft.

Letting agents are Strutt & Parker, Tushingham Moore and Cushman & Wakefield.

  • Do you think that Liverpool One is a waste of time and money, as some do? Join in the discussion in the Forum.

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