Festival Park River View CGI

Liverpool aims for year end for £700m Festival Park funding

The council said it will “soft market test” the proposals for the 90-acre site over the summer, with the aim of identifying its preferred investor by the end of the year.

A meeting of Liverpool City Council’s cabinet on Friday is set to approve a masterplan for the former Festival Gardens site, that aims to create “a spectacular £700m riverside suburb”.

The masterplan, designed by K2 Architects, could deliver up to 2,500 new homes, 500,000 sq ft of commercial and leisure floor-space, a new ferry terminal and a major waterpark attraction.


Liverpool Festival Gardens Sketch K2

Designs show how Festival Park could be built out onto the river

One of the development options proposed is to build out onto the water, the deliver the terminal and riverside homes.

The council said it has been approached by two major operators that specialise in developing and managing water-based leisure destinations, and the council will be asking both parties to prepare a more detailed proposal to consider with the option of entering into an exclusivity agreement.

Other aims of the masterplan include creating a 5km long green corridor to the city centre, a remodelled coastal path as well as a new cultural landmark venue, to sit alongside the year-round waterpark attraction.

City Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Festival Park Liverpool has the potential to be one of the UK’s great new city suburbs of the 21st century.

“This masterplan sets out the ambition to position the site as a world leader as a place to live and visit and we’re highly encouraged by the interest already being shown by developers.

“There is much work to be done and I look forward to seeing the results of the soft market testing and talking to potential partners about making this vision a reality over the coming decade.”

A set of land surveys and environmental assessments are also being undertaken with the first phase of site mediation expected to begin this autumn.

There is a current outline planning consent for a 1,380-unit residential development on part of the site, valid until December 2022.

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What Liverpool’s last remaining outpost of professional-middle-class-dom really needs right now is… a waterpark!…

I never thought the phrase “bread and circuses” was meant to be literal.

By Mike

This will provide a mixture for all sectors of society and employment for those who are first entering the job market. Having an attraction of some sort, will help the local economy and provide further stimulus to the development of the area south of the Pier Head. I know that more commercial and residential projects are planned and this will only help in the continued expansion of the City and environs and creating a true River City along the banks of the Mersey.

By on the dock

It’s exactly what we need, a waterpark there will be fantastic.

By John

Of the two bids for the waterpark we can but hope it’s the German plan that progresses further. Their one sounds high quality and would go well with the other schemes for homes and cultural facilities in the area. The US media branded proposal comes across as potentially appalling Disneyesque tat. Most certainly not the sort of image Liverpool should be trying to project to the wider world.

By Jane Jacobs

There already is a “true river city” on the banks of the Mersey. Varied, interesting, liveable. For now, that is.

What it lacks is not a noisy traffic generating theme park that might put people with money off the area, but instead the development of the skilled and professional employment prospects that Manchester, by contrast, has excelled in developing. The type of jobs that offer people something other than a life of drudgery. But I guess people can get a min wage job in the watermark… First entering the job market? And where do they go from there then? A bar, restaurant or serviced apartment in the city centre? Or perhaps a packed commuter train to Manchester?

By Mike

Do you live by the Prom Mike? A lot of people start in lower paid jobs and move on to higher things some don’t and are content in the position they have, it’s their life, try not to get to excited about it. When I was a lad in the 50’s the only place you could see the Mersey from,was the Pier Head, now it is possible from many places and the opening up of Otterspool by this development will make it more accessible and family friendly, because for a long time it was not especially after dark, let’s not judge the development until details are announced, otherwise some posters might think you are an old grump?

By Burger van