ZipWorldTitan 4
The plans were approved by Liverpool City Council in June

Liverpool zip wire spat deepens

Dan Whelan

Engage Liverpool, a social enterprise representing an area containing more than 40,000 residents, has published an open letter to the city council opposing plans for the 400-metre zip wire, prompting its developer to hit back with claims the attraction would provide a much-needed boost to the local economy. 

The zip wire, plans for which were approved in June, would connect St Johns Beacon and Central Library, passing over St. Johns Shopping Centre, Hood Street, Roe Street, St. George’s Place, St. John’s Lane and Gardens and William Brown Street, and operating from 9am to 8pm daily. 

The wire would be operated by Zip World, whose founder has hit back at critics who said the attraction would “mutilate” part of Liverpool city centre. Instead, he said, the wire could attract 300,000 additional visitors to the city every year. 

Sean Taylor said: “Our research indicates that the projected number of riders in the first year full of operation in Liverpool could be around 104,000. 

“These people will all bring friends and family with them, which we believe will be an additional 200,000 spectators.

“This will provide a huge economic boost to the city’s retail and hospitality businesses. They’re telling us that it is needed now more than ever.” 

Economic benefits aside, the zip wire, scheduled to open in May 2021, has caused consternation among large swathes of the city who believe the £5m attraction is inappropriate for its location. 

The open letter from Engage Liverpool said the plans would “mutilate” and deal a “devastating blow” to the area, which features several sites of cultural and historical importance including the grade one-listed St George’s Hall and St John’s Gardens, which contains seven memorials. 

“We are united in our love for this extraordinary and wonderful place, and we do not wish to see its significance compromised, if not mutilated,” the letter said. 

Liverpool Zipwire

The zip wire would run between St Johns Beacon and Central Library

A petition launched by Engage calling on Liverpool City Council to rescind the planning approval has so far attracted 180 signatures, including some high-profile names. 

Screenwriter and producer Jimmy McGovern, poets Roger McGough and Levi Tafari and actor Alexei Sayle are among those to have signed the petition. 

Another petition, launched by Cllr Richard Kemp, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool, has so far gathered more than 1,000 signatures. 

Speaking to Place North West, Kemp said he would welcome a zip wire somewhere in the city, perhaps by the waterfront, but that Zip World’s plans are “not in the right location”.

He said: “For every tourist this attracts, we will lose one. This could damage the local economy because it will put off people who come to the city for the culture.

“It is a very different clientele than those looking for a funfair.”

While much of the city opposes the idea of a zip wire in the city centre, Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company and chair of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network, told Place North West he supports the plans, as does Neil Ashcroft, centre manager for St John’s Shopping Centre. 

Sean Taylor, who operates three similar attractions in North Wales, said the project would give “a new lease of life” to St Johns Beacon and St Johns Shopping Centre. 

Taylor said: “It is an attraction that will again put the city on the international tourist map. We are honoured to be delivering our first adventure attraction outside of Wales in Liverpool.  

“There is no city quite like it.” 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Do they really represent 40,000 residents? I think that is a Donald Trump-type fact/claim.

They seem to be set up to oppose any development/anything new in the city.

Its important to note that Liverpool City Council are fully behind this scheme as it utilises one of their properties and importantly, it has already received planning permission.

At least a zip wire would bring a bit of life to the area as the only people who appear to use St Johns Gardens are daytime drinkers.

By Zippy

I think it is a brill idea. Don`t buy into the naysayers habitual misery. Bring it on.

By Anonymous

The Grade two-Listed Central Library is really not the location for this. It is undignified for the users of the library and the wider community who enjoy the St Geoge’s Quarter. There are plenty of locations in Liverpool that a zip line could more appropriately run between. This really is not one of them. Can common sense please be restored?
LCC and the local press need to ask how this approval came about after millions of pounds of public money has been spent on the Central Library and what is currently an aesthetically stunning part of Liverpool.

By Anonymous

There is a rather disingenuous angle in the figures above. The operators estimate that 104,000 will ride the zip line in the first year, and will bring 200,000 friends. In quoting it “could attract 300,000 additional visitors to the city every year” they are making a broad assumption that all 104,000 riders (& 200,000 friends) will only visit Liverpool because it has a Zip line, and wouldn’t have otherwise visited.
I would guess that a proportion of the riders would have visited Liverpool anyway, and that this is just something else they will do while in the city.
I am not opposed to the idea of a zip line, although the route isn’t ideal, but I am opposed to sweeping generalisations being made to meet an agenda.

By Numbers game

Does Cllr Kemp have any evidence for his claim that “For every tourist this attracts, we will lose one”?

And why is he calling a zipwire a ‘funfair’? If he wants to bash funfairs, maybe start with getting rid of the monstrosity that sits in front of the Three Graces each summer.

By HokeyCokey

It is Liverpool after all, the only thing holding that city back is it’s people with their anti-investment and it’s us against the world mentality. Another prime example.

By Kenco

great idea, Fremont st comes to mind in las vegas – fab

By Alan

Get it built. We need all the people we can get.


By Liver lad

St John’s bargain basement centre, and a man who sat by as the city’s office buildings were turned into (often unfinished) low quality, poorly occupied apartments. Not much of a counter argument to a slew of not only famous people but also signatories of official note in the field of architecture and history.

The real argument is not vs Addy and a down-market shopping centre boss, but actually between a planning officer and those who vastly outqualify him.

And questions as to why the councillors supported him (and why three gave their apologies for a virtual meeting, and one of their very few actual jobs).

By Mike

I don’t think anyone opposes the idea of the zip line being in the city, it’s just totally the wrong location. Put it in most others parts of the city and I’ve no doubt it would be welcomed. As it stands it is inappropriate.

By anon

Yes lets have the zip wire ,good fun and it WILL bring Liverpool lots more money in.BUT LETS FIND A MORE APPROPRIAT PLACE FOR IT TO GO.

By Geoff Cummins

I also find it ironic that the “planning officers” will merrily demand height be lopped off previously stylish proposals from reputable developers (see the Spine, Strand Street, and more), undermining their economic viability and causing value engineering to come into play early.

Yet this fest will be visible from as far away as south Bootle, as well as desecrating the St John’s war memorials to boot.

Why not just hang a pair of Big Undies on them and be done with it.

By Mike

Any investment in Liverpool should be welcomed. Will the shouts and screams from the zip wire be any worse than a night in concert square?

By Investment

Surely Blackpool is the obvious place for this….across other attractions …not city centre traffic in a business and commercial environment

By Tercol

The idea of a zip line is fine, it’s where they’re planning to put it that is the problem. I really don’t understand how they can put this on a grade II listed building, which happens to be a library. This kind of activity will likely be used by groups such as stag and hen parties, which will mean these groups will be congregating in the library, which is supposed to be a place people can go to work and get some peace and quiet. This is such a beautiful historic area, which will be blighted by this if it ends up going ahead. I also wonder if it will affect the film companies that frequently use this area?

By Anonymous

I’m not happy at all , why on earth can’t it go on in Church Street as it usually does. Please leave our beautiful buildings alone.

By Maggie

Any new attraction in Liverpool such as this Zip Wire can only be to the good after the horror of COVID-19. We badly need new ideas to boost the Merseyside economy, especially with Christmas just around the corner. Can those within Liverpool Council who oppose the scheme either Councillors or Officers stand up and justify their opposition, and more’s to the point what crowd puller would they replace it with.?

By ItsPerky

Why would St Johns Beacon need a “new lease of life” when it is already fully occupied on all floors AND a thriving Tourist Attraction in its own right, which DOES NOT affect the view of the city or the heritage of the location or the peace and quiet of the gardens.

By Anonymous

We are the laughing stock of the north west. The city down the road gets offices. What do we get?

By Michael McDonut

Why on earth do we want an additional 300,000 visitors in the middle of a pandemic? Put your zip wire somewhere else.

By Anonymous

Great idea, thinks it would bring lot’s of people back to are city

By Frederick Attwood

Dear Mr Anoymous: Why on earth do we want 300,000 visitors … Who is ‘we’? Why did ‘we’ Puritan Lancastrian/Cheshire (sorry, the souther English decided we should be called ‘non-conformists’ ‘dissenters’ want hundreds of thousand analaphabeitc Irish catholic immigrants in the 19th Century, to change the culture make-up of South Lancashire and North Cheshire for ever. ‘We’ were never asked. Somebody decided they could get rich quick, and they had the power and influence to make it happen: That is why ‘we’ do these ‘odd’ things. Just thought you might like to know.

By James Yates

I think it’s a great idea, but I just think it needs to find a slightly different location.I have used the one in Wales and it’s an excellent facility and company and I believe they would do it well.

By Clair

While we need more Liverpool office’s we need more things for the youngster’s like my grandson to do too! I may even have a go in it even if they say I am too old!!!

By Mary Woolley

You only need to look at the kind of visitors that Signature Living brings to the city, to understand perfectly well what sort of visitor economy this ridiculous zip wire idea would bring.The city does not need this. This just smacks of desperation. Just no!

Cultural vandalism. A laughing stock! Can you imagine similar in prime historical areas of London or Edinburgh? No! The derelict north docks would be far more suitable. An exciting urban landscape. Not a cultural, world heritage one.


“Its important to note that Liverpool City Council are fully behind this scheme as it utilises one of their properties and importantly, it has already received planning permission”

The council are not fully behind this thing at all. In fact members of the cabinet are opposed, as well as all of the local councillors.

By Anonymous

“Any investment in Liverpool should be welcomed. Will the shouts and screams from the zip wire be any worse than a night in concert square”

What on earth? Have you lost your marbles? St John’s Gardens and William Brown street are not Concert Square.

By Anonymous

A ZipWorld style attraction somewhere like an old dock warehouse would be great. This however is one of the worst ideas Liverpool City Council have ever had. Which is really saying something. How this got to ths stage backed by the Council really needs investigating.


We need real jobs not bl**dy gimmicks like this.

By Jim

Amazing how a bit of wire can make an entire city tremble.

By Anonymous

It’s a circus ride, not what’s needed in the city centre

By Mwhite

We don’t need a zip wire to boost economy. People come to Liverpool because its liverpool, a Brand that sells itself. We also don’t need Alexei sayle, his comments done enough damage when he made up a street in liverpool as Bottle in the face street.. North Wales is the place for it to stay along with outdoor leisure.

By John taylor

Zip wire? My arse!!

By Bobby

Put it literally anywhere else in the city other than there. This is a completely inappropriate location

By Anon

We don’t want it how could they ever think we would to will do know end of damage . Think we are all United with this on . Were a laughing stock . Think again not Liverpool .

By Anonymous

I have not been into the city centre for years. The proposed Zip Wire would make me visit the city again.

By Andrew Brown

Donate to the Stop the Liverpool Zip gofundme for a judicial review. [Projects] cooked up with the council, suddenly announced and imposed on the city’s population, are a frequent occurrence in Liverpool.

By Mike

Good idea, wrong place. On the waterfront, in the albert dock, not in the centre. Needs a rethink, once its built its staying,

By Kev f

Quiet simply the most ridiculous idea this city has ever come up with.

Can anyone who approved this not see just how terrible of an idea this is.

The way Liverpool is going – it deserves to lose its UNESCO world heritage standing

By Coxonopolos

There are indeed many people out there that are unwilling to visit this city as they mistakenly believe it is some sort of joke void of any culture and a danger to their personal safety, how exactly would blocking a zip wire change that? “Oh look, you can come to Liverpool now because we don’t have a zip wire!” And just like that 40 years of bad press is undone. I don’t know why we didn’t think of this just so we could reject it and solve all our problems many years ago.

By Rattler

What really gets under my skin are that a lot of these objectors dont even live in Liverpool.

By Anonymous

It should end up at the Cunard building and the Zippers could be counted by the council officials and drop in to Joe Anderson for a cup of tea and chat I am sure he will be happy with that as long as they bring the cakes.

By Tea time with Joe.

This is great, would be good for stag and hen dos, Liverpool pulls in a lot of these

By Lol

We have everyone from the get it built brigade to the Bixteth imbeciles, and even Nick Small agrees THIS MUST BE STOPPED.

By McDonough`s world

Not a good idea like the ones which took down the dockers umbrella and other iconic buildings through bad planning decisions. Would this happen in London or New York, Respect the buildings and what they have brought to the city

By Gb

Not a good idea to pass through the central library. Work with the attraction Liverpool CC to find a better spot.

By Red Squirrel

How about St. John’s to the top of Lewis’s? Or, you could always ask at the Adelphi, but then maybe not….!

By Red Squirrel

We think this is a bad idea Manchester is proposing a ZOO yes in the 21st century they are calling it Manchester Zoo , just build a wall around the city and save money.

By Jambuttie

Dear god, why not stick a clown face on the Liver building and sell candyfloss ! not the place!

By john

Brilliant just love it!!!!

By Anonymous


They are building a zoo in an area which needs regeneration, not plonking wires on historic buildings which don’t need them.

Liverpool’s obsession with Manchester is getting tiresome.

By Anonymous

The zip wire would be fantastic for the City of Liverpool just like the spider and the giants were !!!!. x

By Big Fat Grandad

We don’t need offices, HS2 or investment in apartment buildings and infrastructure. What we need is a circus act in the centre of town so that the Stag and hen parties can join the hoards of unemployed vomiting on the visitor’s below . Classy! we won’t be a laughing stock at all..oh no.

By Charlie Chester

The proposed Zip wire is totally inappropriate for our city.
What are Liverpool council thinking of? This is the cultural heart of Liverpool . These amazing public treasures including our world class museum,art gallery ,library and the magnificent St George’s Hall. Our sea frontage incuding the famous Three Grace’s now overshadowed by monstrous high rise flats carbuncles on the landscape.. The Leeds Liverpool Canal extension is another dreary development situated on the sea front
which has failed miserably to enhance our city either culturally or more importantly economically .
These monstrous constructions have completely destroyed the historic landscape of the Liverpool water front loved by so many Liverpuddlians and generations who have left these shores. Our World Heritage status is in jepordy as we continue to throw up paltry in appropriate structures. Liverpool is not a theme park or fun fair it had a proud seafaring heritage . We should be celebrating its history and future by building structures sympathetically in order to compliment the past .We need world class archetects with vision not second class developers get rich quick developers.
The proposal for a zip wire is a gimmick totally inappropriate and should be thrown out . Wake up councillors and listen to the people. Try a park for your venue if you really think it would benefit the city financially. . In the coming months and years ahead there is going to be great unemployment the likes we have never seen and Livepool folk wont be able to afford the cost of these rides that work out usually over £50 a go. Wake up! Corona Virus is here and recession is knocking on our doorstep.
Zip wires and screaming riders are the last thing we need.

By Williams

Councillors need to re-think this one , a logical and more sensible location would be Everton Park, it has great views, and a natural high slope, the zipwire owners would only need to build a small tower at the top and bottom to house the mechanism, also initially portakabins could act as waiting rooms and refreshment areas, their is also ample parking for visitors and families to park their cars or cabs to drop them off.
In the longer term this can lead to more business opportunities in the Everton area, and bring some needed action and focus in the park itself.

By sound

Totally inappropriate for this the cultural centre of Liverpool which includes St George’s Hall, The Museum, The Walker Art Gallery and the Library . Can you just imagine the noise impact of people screaming and shouting above as people try to enjoy the tranquility of the area.
How about siteing it from Buckingham Palace to Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square . But dont think the residents of the palace would be too pleased. How about Anfield football ground to Seaforth Docks?

By Williams