The restoration of the formal gardens at the former International Garden Festival site in south Liverpool will now take place following an agreement on a £2.1m grant between Langtree and the North West Development Agency.
The NWDA has agreed to invest the money and is now moving toward signing a detailed contract to that effect. The project is the culmination of many years work by a number of Agencies and interested parties including the NWDA, Langtree, Liverpool City Council, the Land Restoration Trust and Mersey Waterfront.
Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA, said: "The Agency is working closely with our partners to take forward the redevelopment of this site, which has the potential to create a major visitor attraction of international significance and enhance the wider Mersey Waterfront programme to maximise the potential of Merseyside's waterfront areas. We are currently in the final stages of negotiations regarding our investment into the project to enable Langtree to take forward the regeneration of the site."
John Downes, managing director of Langtree, said: "The grant we are finalising with the NWDA will allow us to not only bring forward the timescale for the restoration of the formal gardens but also accelerate delivery of the residential development. We remain fully committed to delivering the residential element of the scheme at the Garden Festival site as soon as the market conditions allow."
A separate contribution of £1.6m from the European Regional Development Fund is also currently being considered for the scheme, bringing the total package of investment being sought to £3.7m.
The areas identified for restoration include:
- The Chinese gardens, including its pagoda
- The Japanese gardens
- The lakes and associated watercourses
- The woodland sculpture trails
Downes added: "The Agency's investment will also cover the management and maintenance of the park for five years, within which time it is anticipated that we will be able to commence development on the balance of the site and secure its long-term future."