Festival Park River View CGI

Liverpool relaunches quest for Festival Gardens investor

Tim Clark

Liverpool City Council has relaunched its search for an investment or development partner to lead the regeneration of 28 acres within the Festival Gardens site to the south of the city centre.

The council has opted to press ahead with a “market-led” approach to the regeneration project according to a prior information notice issued for the waterfront site after reviewing its options to open up the regeneration scheme to more bidders.

The new PIN comes after the council opted against continuing with the Homes & Communities Agency’s DPP3 Framework for the £700m project in December last year.

Expressions of interest for a development partner had been ready to be issued in October last year as a first stage of the procurement exercise through the DPP3 framework, which included firms such as Galliford Try, Interserve, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, and Wates as well as a number of volume housebuilders.

The new PIN states: “Expressions of interest should set out an investor’s or investor developer’s interest in the opportunity, clearly stating that the interest is not predicated on the City Council underwriting the development.

“At this stage, the City Council is looking at a market-led approach, but would look to lever in public monies to support the remediation of the site and site infrastructure, although this cannot be guaranteed.”

The masterplan for the site, which covers 90-acres in total, was designed by K2 Architects and is expected to deliver up to 2,500 homes, 500,000 sq ft of commercial and leisure floorspace, a ferry terminal and a major water park attraction.

The masterplan was approved in June 2017 and the council had aimed to have an investor in place by the end of the year.

Alongside housing, leisure and employment space, the Festival Gardens site is also expected to host what the council describes as a “multi-based visitor destination”, including the largest water park in Europe.

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 water park attraction.

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One, does wonder if this council really knows what it is trying to achieve here?

By Liverpolitis

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