Without Walls Covid
Bars and restaurants on Castle Street had their outdoor areas extended last summer

Without Walls rollout set for sign-off

Neil Tague

Liverpool City Council is to lead on a £2.3m Combined Authority project to expand its outdoor hospitality support programme across the city region.

The council’s cabinet meets on Friday, and will be asked to formally accept £2.3m funding to act as the representative body on the further development of a project that saw several key roads closed to vehicles in the city centre in summer 2020.

Bold Street and Castle Street were pedestrianised in a project led by Arup in Without Walls’ initial phase.

At Friday’s meeting, permission is sought to sign off on the recruitment of two roles to a dedicated central management team – a project lead and a support role – to work within Culture Liverpool and the team that delivered the first phase.

This team will work with teams from the different LCR boroughs to design schemes, oversee asset infrastructure/creation as necessary, and centralise procurement where practical, also overseeing the budget and reporting back to the Combined Authority.

Each borough will form a steering group including a project manager and representatives from highways, licensing and a local business group, such as a BID or Chamber.

Although not finalised, allocations will be divided according to population, so could, according to the officers’ report, look something like £150,000 to £250,000 each for Halton, St Helens and Knowsley; £350,000 to £450,000 for Sefton and Wirral; and £825,000 for Liverpool. Central costs are likely to be around £200,000.

The cabinet will also be asked to approve a spending programme from a £247,780 grant from the second round of Arts Council England’s culture recovery fund: this will cover four projects including the Eight Quarters of Liverpool, a series of installations to be introduced between May and September.

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Our city and region is a big destination now and we should have similar standards of outdoor hospitality spaces right across our city from West Kirkby to Crosby and from Southport to Runcorn Old Town. Let’s not forget Liverpool’s Chinatown too – the oldest in Europe, but could do with some TLC. I love the new mural at Great George’s Square celebrating Chinatown and our historic links with Shanghai.

By Red Squirrel