Liverpool City Council will replace the fire-damaged 1,400-space car park at Kings Dock with a new 1,650-space facility, due to be built by Willmott Dixon by Christmas next year.
The former car park was severely damaged by a fire on New Year’s Eve last year, which destroyed almost all of the 1,305 cars parked inside.
Willmott Dixon has been working with the council to manage the demolition of the building, and council bosses have now decided to move forward with building a new car park, designed by Leach Rhodes Walker.
This will be built on a former infilled dock in front of the exhibition centre, while demolition is set to begin on the existing car park in October.
The £26m cost of the building will be funded by general council spending plus the proceeds from the insurance pay-out from the fire. There will also be a series of highways improvements carried out in the area to ease congestion when events are being held.
A temporary car park is also being built next to the current car park to support demand from the ACC Liverpool complex, on land next to the conference centre, and this four-storey, 600-space facility is expected to open in the autumn. This will then be dismantled once the permanent car park completes by Christmas next year.
Until the temporary car park completes, the area has been left with a shortfall of spaces. There is still surface parking available at Kings Dock, although planning consent was given late last year to the development of a call centre for The Contact Company on the plot, developed by YPG.
YPG was hopeful of completing the project in late 2018 or early 2019, but it has yet to start on site with the plot still being used for car parking space, and a start date hinges on whether these car parking spaces can be accommodated elsewhere.
Options for the fire-damaged car park site were aired earlier this year, with a five-star hotel understood to be council’s preferred option, reacting to increased demand for hotel space in the area.
James Noakes, Liverpool City Council cabinet member for transport and highways, said: “It’s been seven months since that devastating fire and every day since council officers have been working to get us to the point where a long term solution can be delivered.
“Every element of that traumatic night has been very complex and at times very sensitive, not least for those who have had to navigate the often labyrinthine processes for insurance claims.
“The temporary facilities have ensured business continues at the venues, and to date it has worked seamlessly, to the credit of everyone involved.
“This new car park will be built to latest specifications will give ACC Liverpool a facility that will more than meet its growing needs. Having recently completed the new Victoria Street Car Park I am confident this new facility will be built on schedule and to a very high quality.”