Liverpool Zipwire
The zip wire would pass over St John's Gardens, home to several monuments

Retailers pile in on zip wire debate

Dan Whelan

Around 130 retail and hospitality businesses have signed an open letter supporting a controversial plan to install a zip wire between two Liverpool landmarks following widespread criticism, saying it could provide a shot in the arm to the struggling sectors. 

“As businesses operating largely in the hospitality and retail sectors, we depend heavily on tourists and visitors coming to Liverpool,” the letter said. “Our businesses depend on a thriving city that continues to draw people to experience our wonderful attractions.” 

The letter added that the Covid-19 pandemic had “exacerbated the decline of footfall” in Liverpool and other cities and towns, and the zip wire scheme could provide an “economic boost to the retail and hospitality sectors”. 

  • Full list of signatories below

The open letter is in direct response to a petition this week campaigning against the scheme, which was approved by Liverpool City Council in June. 

Critics have said the zip wire, being brought forward by Zip World, a North Wales-based adventure business, would “mutilate” the area, known for its listed buildings and monuments of cultural and historical importance. 

The zip wire 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. 

Zip World founder Sean Taylor claims that the attraction, due to open in May 2021, could bring up to 300,000 visitors to Liverpool every year. His company already operates three Zip Worlds in Wales. 

However, the earlier petition this week, launched by resident group Engage Liverpool, hit back at the plans and urged the council to reconsider its decision. The petition was signed by high-profile figures including Screenwriter and producer Jimmy McGovern, poets Roger McGough and Levi Tafari and actor Alexei Sayle. 

Richard Kemp, Liverpool’s Liberal Democrat Leader, said the attraction could put off as many people as it attracts. 

In the latest petition to the council, Liverpool business leaders including Frank McKenna, chief executive of the business support group Downtown Liverpool, Bill Addy, chief executive of the Liverpool BID company, and John Hughes, chief executive of Liverpool Nightlife CIC, are listed among those who have pledged support for the project. 

McKenna said in a statement to media that the hotel, bar, restaurant and shop owners that had signed the open letter were people “suffering the consequences of the recent pandemic and the general trend of declining high streets”, and needed “a bustling city centre” in order to survive.

The full list of signatories is as follows:

Frank McKenna, Downtown Liverpool in Business 

Steven Hesketh, The Savvy Group 

Jonny Lacey, Bongo’s Bingo

Nicola Byrne-Woods, Urban Calm, Met Quarter 

Kevin Doran, Living Brick Hotels 

John Sutton, Lost Soles, Albert Dock

Chris Devaney, RLB360

Christaki Georgiou, Christakis Greek Taverna

Bill Addy, Liverpool BID

Perry Ng, Golden Dragon Food Limited

Gary Wakefield, Lili Bizarre 

Liam Fortune, Buffet Restaurant Limited 

Madie OutaaraftBakchich, Bold Street 

Amine El Gueddar, Kasbah, Bold Street 

Paolo Cillo, Il Forno, Duke Street 

Terry Stockton, Hippy Chick, Baltic Market 

Sean Roche, Aintree Gin 

Paul Jagota, Anar Express, Bold Street 

Darren Simpson, Met Quarter Flowers 

Tracey Shelvey, Kids Cavern, Met Quarter 

Adam Sutton, Adam Sutton Estates 

Antonietta Bagnardi, Antonietta Bakery 

Maria Cillo, A Tavola 

Jenny Wan, SIDA Far Eastern Supermarket 

Dave Critchley, Lu Ban 

Alex Bower, Hotel Anfield 

Francesca Kearns, Francesca Couture 

Neil Wan, Chy, Renshaw Street 

John Sinclair, Peaky Blinders

Paul Lin, GoCre8 

Chris Reza, La Parilla, Bold Street 

Otto MelloukiOrganico 

Danny Boon, Matou

Moya McQueen, Morgan Jones Hair 

Ergin Mullah, Elif, Bold Street 

Mo Abdullah, KO Grill 

Chris Foulkes, Relish 

Natalie Murray, The Bagelry 

Christian Boyle, Bar 54 

Sean Royden, Ink Bar 

Charlotte Owens, Meatless 

Hussain Etaaat, Shiraz, Williamson Square 

James Sullivan, Yellow Submarine Bar 

Alfie McCaughran, Black Pearl Bar 

Rhys Jones, Rhys Jones & Co 

Brendan Wyatt, Transalpino, Bold Street 

Mark Ellison, Johnny English Fish & Chips, Bold Street 

Mark O`Leary, Rebel Barbers, Bold Street 

Andreas Doukanaris, Sarto Menswear, Victoria Street 

Gennagh Thompson, Jimmy’s Bar, Bold Street 

Andy Zhuobin, Mei Mei 

Natalie Shilton, The Nakery 

Christopher Hakeem, The Butterfly and The Grasshopper 

John Gilchrist, The Industry Consultants 

Melissa Newness, The Vines 

Julie Georgiou, Key Lime Coffee, St Johns Shopping Centre

Mani Jones, Storm Menswear, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Nicole Cree, The Bag Shop, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Mohammed AslimB:U, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Jean Kennedy, Bunnies Children’s Clothing, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Lauren McCormick, Peacock, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Yan James, Miles Accessories, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Jade Lark, Koko, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Louise Shelbourne, Perfect Getaways, St Johns Shopping Centre              

Harleigh Corran, Hands Boutique, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Was Anjum, CS2, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Jeannette ZidaruMoreGlam, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Louise Ward, Catwalk, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Jaz Kumar, Missie, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Kaleem Hussain, Kiss, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Harjinder Kaur Glamour, Forever, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Dimi Boyuklieva, Berlin Doner, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Nina McCormick, Chantilly Lounge 

Jennifer Santos Darias, Cool Britannia 

Ben Mayer, Johnny Googles, North John Street 

Sandra Lawton, Yanni’s Fish & Chips 

Peter Hunter, Liverpool Hospitality Exchange 

Danielle Youds, Liverpool Philharmonic Theatre 

Adam Wan, Yum Cha 

Alan Cosgrove, Happy Days Ventures 

Brian Connor, A Bar Called Teddy’s 

Steve Smith, The Dispensary 

Jay Baker, Down The Hatch 

Conrad Sharp, Woo Tan Scran 

Joe O’Garra, Ripolin 

Paul Kelly, St. John’s Shoe Repairs, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Alexandra Shepherd, Baby Melanie, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Suneer Edakavil Kottayil, The Liverpool Gift Shop, Williamson Square 

Hellen Newey, 200 degrees Coffee 

Michael Cox, Hanover Hotel 

Lois White, Print Works Hotel 

Graeme Clark, The Scholar Bar 

Michael Achilleos, Grael 

Mark Hayes, The Red Berry Club 

Mike Robinson, Kaspas Deserts 

Joe Harper, Exec Menswear 

Harris McWilliam, Ditto Coffee Liverpool 

Claire Cox, Liver One Limited, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Hamaad Akhtar, Storm Ladies, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Aftab Razzaq, Foot patrol, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Paul Jones, Keep Time Watch Repairs, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Geoff Wakefield, Music Film Direct, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Waqas Javed, Liverpoolhair, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Claire Pye, Shush Clothing, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Suwayd Khan, Hairclub, St Johns Shopping Centre 

Steve Johnson, The Midland Public House 

Vincent Tyrrell, Quarters 

Megan Crosbie, Sweeney’s Bar 

Angela Cowing, The Shakespeare 

Saad Rowen, Go Falafel 

Charlotte Donoghue, Say It with Diamonds, Met Quarter 

Yulun Wun, Root Coffee 

Aaron Shino, Dale Street Kitchen 

Anthony Devine, Brownlow Inn Hotel 

Anvar Yusuf, Toros Steakhouse 

John Hughes, Liverpool Nightlife CIC 

Melanie Ravenscroft, Baltic Beer Garden 

Jamie Motlagh, Pub Invest Group 

Marcus Magee, Hilton Liverpool

David Wade Smith, Webticket Master 

Louise Kemp, The Core Collective 

Dale Allman, Union 22, Dale Street 

Paul Kierman, Nelly Foley’s 

Gary Daly, Moloko 

Jimmy Boland, Rubber Soul  

Dean McClafferty, Irish House 

Darren Smith, Ruby Blues 

Sean Traynor, Celtic Corner 

James Brackley, Einstein 

Jo Pringle, Lago  

Sam Harris, Sgt Peppers 




Your Comments

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Is this list of companies supposed to add weight to the argument for the zip wire? Just look at the types of businesses in favour of the zip wire….every last one of them of them involved in the visitor economy….paying minimum wage rates to kids.

By Old Hall Street

It will not happen. Mark my words. We will fight this on Twitter, on skyscrapercity, and I will be standing by Nick Small.

By Michael McDonut

Bongos Bingo vs Jimmy McGovern.
At least that lot actually live in Liverpool.
It’s a big no from me. I’d rather see a water slide around the liver building.

By Paul

So basically a load of pub owners want this to go ahead. Well of course they do. They know just as we do that it will be inundated with stag parties, and stag parties like to ruin their livers with alcohol.

Enough of this city being sacrificed to make a handful of people a cheap profit at everyone else’s expense!

Fyi, the most respectable name in the list – that person is a mere bar manager, and almost certainly not authorised to speak on behalf of the organisation assigned. I wonder how many of these people actually knew what it was they were putting their name to, when Mr permatanned of PR company called.

By Mike

@Mike. So because a person is a `mere bar manager` means he has no authority to speak? Well Michael, you are just a mere voice on the internet, but I still defend your right to speak for, or against the zip wire. You sound very jumped up m8.

By Free world

Mike, if someone works or lives in Liverpool, or contributes to the local economy, then they should have a right to air their views. Even when they are not the same as yours.

What about that unsightly fun fair in front of the three graces? It looks far worse and in your face than this zip will look. There are better places for both of them.

By Anonymous

Some would like to preserve us in aspic. We are desperate for visitors. Get the thing built.


By Liver lad

Every one of them non entities,

By George

Of course retail and leisure businesses will grab any life raft they are offered at present. This is all a bit desperate by the operator and [council]. The idea that 100,000 people zipping and screaming overhead a memorial garden and on to a library roof in a World Heritage street, might be an appealing prospect speaks volumes about the total lack of regard for, or appreciation of, the city’s world class cultural heritage.

By Anonymous

Sock puppet posting, using similar grammar, punctuation and lexicon and an approach we have seen somewhere, many times before… How is it that the unpopular plans of a certain genre of business, connected somehow to dealings with the council, seem to play out in the public domain in such strikingly similar ways?… Oh how we wonder.

Hopefully the stop the zip campaign will be wise enough to decline any offer of pro bono representation. Another campaign that was about to file for a JR had such an offer. Only for it to be scuppered by a last minute, inconvenient (but convenient for some) change of heart on the part of the “donor”.

By Mike

I’m pretty disgusted at some of the comments on here. I wasn’t a massive fan of it but I hope it goes through now.

By Anonymous

@George. People like you, me and Mike are the real non entities lad. That`s why we are making comments on the internet because we are not heard.

By Anonymous

Sock is supposedly disgusted by comments expressing multiple layers of extreme concern and legitimate observation, and not with the dreadful way in which these plans involving a public building were drawn up behind closed doors and then passed based on the information provided?

By Mike

It’s understandable that businesses in the food and retail sector feel encouraged that this will bring in more visitors, particularly as their businesses have been so affected by the pandemic, and so feel that they have to support the plan and put their name to this. The issue that those of us who are against it have is the location and the effect it will have on listed buildings and this cultural, historic part of the city. Surely another location can be found that won’t ruin the gardens and the library?

By Anonymous

Some people just can’t see their own hypocrisy, sometimes.
I get the feeling Mike is very experienced at internet spats,
Some people have nothing better to do than argue over things they haven’t got a say in. Lol.

By Gaz Riley

How about a permanent zip wire across the ship canal on Salford quays, it could go from the top of one of these expansive high rise tower blocks, apartments. It would do well and bring more tourism to Salford quays.

By Darren born bred Salford

When the cruise liners return I don’t see many of the passengers wanting a spin on this. Just another gimmick for stag n hens. This is not Blackpool. Yet.

By Frank

More evidence on here of the growing trend to be offensive towards anyone with whose view you do not personally agree. Whatever the argument we should all retain the rite to have our say and respect different points of view. I personally believe – as someone with historic family roots in Liverpool and a love of the City – that any initiative to boost visitor numbers to the City is to be welcomed. Due to fear of heights I would not be able to enjoy it but think it is a great idea and a much needed added attraction for this great City.

By David Sleath

Awful comments about people working in the hospitality and retail sectors from people who should know better. We should be supporting anything that brings vibrancy and life to the city centre.

By Mike Sullivan

Mike – just keep it off here mate. Stick to insulting people on ssc and twitter, as normal. Its not too difficult to work out who you are fella.

By Anonymous

Not impressed with those on this list; Dont see any William Brown Street names. I am not against a zip wire, but you have to be thick to place it in this location. There are dozens of other locations it could go to.

By Anonymous

I’m not sure the zip wire will bring very many visitors to the city. In the scheme of things it’s not a very big run. If you really want a big zip experience, you’ll go to the wires in North Wales. In reality, the Liverpool zip will just compete with other stuff for the stag-n-hen trade, whilst deterring other kinds of visitor. Will it make the city uglier? Probably, but it won’t spoil it anything like as much as the current epidemic of graffiti does.

By Moomo

Zipped de do dah, they do do that tho do don’t they, zipped de do dah!


Totally Wired

By Mark E. Smith