The developer has started public consultation on revised plans for a major mixed-use scheme along one side of Lime Street in Liverpool city centre following criticism of the original designs.
Neptune, working with Liverpool City Council, faced calls for more vibrant plans after the last consultation in April led to residents calling the plain brick façade bland and unimaginative.
Steve Parry, managing Director of Neptune Developments, said: “The consultation has been very helpful. It has given us a chance to re-think the project in a wider context that looks at Lime Street’s history and its future within a rapidly changing and dynamic city centre. The new design is more urban, more visually dramatic and more integrated. It’s very much part of an emerging vision for the whole of Lime Street and its surrounding area.”
Neptune said in a statement to coincide with the new consultation period: “The redesign re-introduces the existing block pattern of the Eastside of Lime Street with imaginative metal panels that give distinctive personality to each block and can be dramatically back-lit at night. In addition to the radically redesigned buildings, incorporating hotel, shops, restaurants and student accommodation, the scheme canvasses longer term ideas for Lime Street including the potential semi-pedestrianisation of the area between the Crown and Vine pubs. It has still not been possible to save the facade of the Futurist cinema within the new scheme because of its poor structural condition.
“Another key element of the vision is a proposal to create an entirely new kind of entertainment and media hub in the restored ABC cinema. The listed Art Deco building has been vacant for nearly two decades but is set to become both a major live music venue and a studio for the production and broadcast of international TV programmes. The complex will house, TV production facilities, three restaurants, a coffee shop and basement cocktail bar as well as a performance auditorium and two TV studios. One of the core ideas underpinning the business plan for the venue is a new live TV music and chat show from Liverpool with a transatlantic link-up to New York.
The vision for the ABC cinema building was the brainchild of Liverpool music entrepreneur Mark Cowley. He explained: “We have been working for over a year on the project and have already had massive interest and support from leading media companies, collaborators and promoters. This is a fantastic building and has all the versatility and space we need, for what will be a unique media and performance destination.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Lime Street is one of the major gateways into and out of the city and has been neglected for far too long. It is crucial that any scheme is ambitious and creates the best possible first impression of the city. I am pleased that the architects have listened to the feedback from the consultation and created something that I believe will make this part of Liverpool vibrant and exciting.”
The revised plans for the Eastside of Lime Street will now go forward for consideration by Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee before the end of July, with further public consultation taking place until the 23 July.