Lidl Wavertree
Historic England is considering an application that asks to list the former cinema

Lidl proposed for former Wavertree cinema 

Dan Whelan

The supermarket chain plans to open a store on the site of the former Abbey Cinema on Church Road North, part of its £1.3bn nationwide expansion strategy.

The 17,700 sq ft Lidl store would be constructed opposite the Picton roundabout in Wavertree, in the footprint of the cinema building that would be demolished under the retailer’s proposals. 

“It is simply not economically viable to restore the building and retain it as a supermarket,” Lidl said. 

“We understand that the proposed demolition of the building may be disappointing to some people, however, we will invigorate the site with a unique, modern replacement store to serve the local community and provide jobs.” 

Historic England is considering a request from an unnamed party that the building be listed, according to Lidl. 

Abbey Cinema opened in 1939 and closed in 1979 before being used as a bingo hall and snooker hall. It was most recently used as a Co-op supermarket, which closed last April. 

Stuart Jardine, Lidl’s regional head of property, said: “We have exciting plans for Liverpool. A new Lidl store on Church Road North will improve local shopping choice and bring a much-needed supermarket back to the centre of Wavertree, following the Co-op’s decision to close last year. 

“Following thorough surveys and assessments of the existing building, it is quite clear that it is beyond economic repair.”

As well as its Wavertree proposals, Lidl is also awaiting planning approval for three more schemes in Liverpool, one in Garston and others on Great Homer Street and Childwall Valley Road, as it looks to add 60 stores in each of the next two years.

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Another Lidl? Liverpool is becoming the city of Lidl. There are so many…

By David

This is good news – we need all the investment we can get

By Stuart wood

Hope it goes ahead. Better than leaving it empty. We need a Lidl in this area.

By Norma Patterson

I agree The Abbey cinema has had its day. It has become an eyesore and would be far too expensive to restore. The area needs a good modern supermarket which would provide jobs and would definitely improve the surrounding area.

By Local resident

What about one in SPEKE

By Anon

@David not seen that many Lidl’s around Liverpool tbh .

By Frank

I think the cinema should be restored. I hate it when classic buildings like this are demolished, especially for nondescript crap like Lidl. I also hardly think this constitutes ‘investment’. It seems perverse to me that there are lots of complaints about some infilling of a completely disused and empty dock but barely a murmur when something architecturally interesting is to be demolished!

By Chris

A terrible proposal in an area that desperately needs imagination!

Ripping down a beautiful Art Deco cinema for THAT is an abomination.

By Observer

What a sad little squat design they’ve gone for. Have some bloody design pride and make something that addreses the street a bit better.

By Du Be Ous

Desperate stuff indeed.

By Wirralwanderer

What is needed is a full independant structoral survey of the building, The inside of the building may be in a bad state of repair,but the main structure is sound being built of steel and brick ,This building is a clasic art deco design and should be listed and saved for future generations, If Lidl cant come up with something better they should be refused planning permission, I think Lidl are just trying to get away with the least possible expenditure ,and their proposed design and structure is pathetic and lacks imagination, It would be great to see the building restored and maybe Lidl can be persueded to reconsider their plans, it can be done ,But their margins will determine what happens next their bottom line is maximum profit.

By Anonymous

I hope Lidl get the green light for the former Abbey cinema. Unless £billions are found to restore the building, it would just sit and sink into further decay. Build Lidl and give the local community a great shopping experience. On a more personal note, I find the building rather ugly by design. It’s served its purpose, time to move on.

By Carrie Mack