BEING BOLD…The Covid-19 pandemic has been a breeding ground for new vernacular. Do you know what ‘zumping’ is? The act of ending a relationship over a zoom call. Ouch. Meanwhile, the phrase ‘super spreader’ was previously only used by farmers to refer to the machinery needed to fertilise particularly large and arid fields. And what about ‘parklet’? We’ve heard of pocket parks and car parks, but what on earth is a parklet? If you head down to Bold Street in Liverpool, you can see for yourself. A council initiative to provide independent restaurants with outdoor seating has resulted in the installation of several of these wooden contraptions, designed by Meristem Design, for use when restaurants finally reopen this weekend.
We are excited to see the arrival of the first of many on-street parklets on Bold Street this morning, thanks to the Liverpool Without Walls scheme! The parklets are designed to help transform the street ahead of the reopening of restaurants, cafés and bars on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/y51xP15jGL
— Liverpool BID Co. (@LpoolBIDcompany) July 2, 2020
TOURISM PLEA…It has been an interesting week for Liverpool’s leisure scene following the approval of plans for a 400-metre zip wire close to Lime Street station but the city, which thrives on tourism, faces a difficult time over the coming months. As the director of Liverpool BID, Bill Addy, warned last week, without large events such as conferences, live music and football matches that coax people to the city, footfall will be down. This has prompted Heritage Great Britain, which operates the Royal Liver Building 360 experience, to beg the public to back local attractions and think twice about flocking abroad en masse because of the Government’s sky bridges strategy.
Heritage Great Britain director Peter Johnson-Treherne said: “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been completely devastating. The impact will be felt here in Liverpool because we rely so heavily on visitors to boost the economy.
“We need people to choose local visitor attractions and to take their holidays in the UK. The remaining months of summer are going to be critical to us.”
DUATHLON…In lieu of its annual Property Triathlon, which was postponed this year and will now take place on 2 July 2021 at Dorney Lake near Windsor, JLL invited the property community to take part in a virtual duathlon. Nearly 800 people from across the real estate industry and related sectors took part in the event, organised by the consultancy’s Manchester-based corporate marketing director, Catherine Harrison. Those up for the challenge ran 2.5km before hopping on their bikes for a 20km ride. The cherry on top, or more accurately the jelly in the legs, was a 5km run/crawl. The fastest timewas achieved by Andrew Davie, partner at Cushman & Wakefield in London, who came home in a smoulderingly quick 57 minutes and seven seconds, the only competitor to break the hour mark. Even more impressive than Davie’s superhuman exploits was the £18,000 raised for charities Crisis and Land Aid.
Chris Ireland, JLL’s UK chief executive, said: “While the sunshine unfortunately didn’t remain for the entire weekend, we were overwhelmed by how many people joined in with such enthusiasm and generosity. Families, colleagues and friends came together and we even welcomed participants from Saudi Arabia, Portugal and Germany.”
IRON MEN…When RWH Iron Design, a Preston-based firm specialising in the creation of all manner of ferrous products, was asked to fashion some traditional red telephone boxes for the Raddison Hotel at Heathrow airport, it gladly answered the call. The four kiosks will be fitted with phones, naturally, and, in a 21st century twist, USB charging ports. Fashioned by father-and-son duo Rob and Luke Hayton, they will form part of the hotel’s lockdown makeover.
BRIDGES BYRNED…Celebrity chef Aiden Byrne has pulled out of a project to reopen Salford’s Blackfriars pub, a £2m scheme by developer Salboy, as a fine dining restaurant, in favour of a slightly more modest operation: selling cured meat out of a garage in Lymm. Given the choice between lobster thermidor within the confines of a grade two-listed building and hawking salami out of the boot of his car, Byrne chose the latter. And who can blame him? Cleaning out an old garage next to his Lymm eatery the Church Green Pub and flogging his own range of charcuterie seems like a much smaller financial risk in these uncertain times.
Salboy director Simon Ismail said: “Aidan told us his decision a couple of weeks ago and we understand that. But our commitment to the restaurant is unchanged. The fit-out is on track and is looking amazing.
“It is an incredible opportunity for a new name to establish themselves in the city and we are already talking to some exciting and interesting people.”
RETIREMENT PLANNING…Chris Findley, the retired former head of planning at Salford City Council, plans to spend his days reading, walking and not thinking about the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. Reflecting on his career, Findley said he was proud of the planning team at Salford City Council, which he said has a can-do attitude and gets things done on the ground. “People talk a lot about Manchester being like that but Salford is no different. The worker bee also features on Salford’s coat of arms,” he said.