SHIP-SHAPE...Liverpool has waved goodbye to the hulking and impressive MSC Virtuosa that has been docked in the city for the past week. The gigantic vessel, which features a top-deck waterpark and, oh about a million rooms, could be seen from all over Merseyside during its stay. Office workers at Princes Dock have enjoyed welcoming ships back to the Mersey after the industry was hard hit by the pandemic. Most people spend their lunch breaks doom-scrolling through various social media sites; those at Princes Dock have been spending theirs gazing in awe at the floating city blocking out the sun.

Cuerden Hall Gardens

Landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith is to redesign the 16-acre garden at Cuerden Hall

SNOW ROOM...The list of facilities within Colin Shenton’s proposed £15m redevelopment of Cuerden Hall near Chorley is eye-wateringly long. An orangery, indoor pool, a ‘winter kitchen’ (no idea) and a snow room (Google it) are all proposed. Eventually, entrepreneur Shenton wants to live at the listed hall. Once he moves in he will have a few tricky decisions to make – such as which of the 13 bathrooms to use. 

Castle Green Prestatyn Plan

BLOCKED DECISIONS…It’s been a strong week for slightly quirky planning committee contributions. To no avail, Liverpool City Council’s Green councillor Anna Key briefly brandished a SAVE OUR TREES placard while speaking against Anfield’s expansion during a council meeting. But the most striking input of the week came in Denbighshire. A member of the public opposing Castle Green’s housing plans in Prestatyn opened proceedings with “On 3 October 2020, my family and I got up to use the toilet and shower and were unable to do so” due to the local drainage backing up. Video evidence of the crisis was sent to committee members – part of a 10-year catalogue of evidence, apparently – which must have been a surprise plopping into inboxes. The housing was approved regardless, so let’s hope the scheme’s engineering works do the necessary. 

12 Churchgate, Pugh Auctions, P Appeal PR

ROOM WITH A BOO…It’s creepy and it’s kooky, mysterious and spooky and all together ooky – this Bolton property. The centuries-old grade two-listed Number 12 Churchgate is going on Pugh’s online auction block on 20 July. The guide price is set at £32,000. The Churchgate house is supposedly haunted and we assume the later tenants – clairvoyants – harnessed what they could of the supernatural energy of the place. Adjoining the property is the fourth oldest pub in the UK, the Olde Man and Scythe, which dates back to 1251. It’s also where the Seventh Earl of Derby supposedly spent his last night back in October 1651 before being beheaded for his role in the Bolton Massacre. 

Liverpool Pride Quarter Banner C.Visit Liverpool, LCRpridefoundation

PRIDE…It’s been a long time coming, but Liverpool’s Stanley Street Quarter has been rebranded the Pride Quarter, a decade after it became an officially recognised LGBT+ area. Earlier this week, rainbow-striped banners were installed across the district to celebrate the 13 LGBT+ venues in and around Victoria Street, Dale Street and Tithebarn Street. LCR Pride Foundation and promotional body Marketing Liverpool are providing more street dressing in the weeks ahead. It’s a fitting time, too, as the Pride in Liverpool event would have been staged on 31 July, but was cancelled for the second year running because of Covid. Instead, the city will celebrate at the scaled-back Pride Quarter Indoor Festival that weekend. The Liverpool City Region is on a mission to become “the most LGBT+ friendly region in the UK”, according to LCR Pride Foundation chief executive Andi Herring. Very soon, a dedicated LGBT+ page will be launched on the Visit Liverpool website to connect and highlight the diverse LGBT+ nightlife, hospitality and events offering elsewhere in the city. Find out how Place North West is working to support a more inclusive property industry in the region.

St Georges Hall, Liverpool, C.Jennifer Bruce LCC

St George’s Hall is getting a high-tech attraction c. Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council

IMMERSION…It’s all happening in Liverpool this week – as well as formalising the naming of its Pride Quarter, the city is working on an intriguing visitor experience due to open later this summer at St George’s Hall. Named ‘The History Whisperer’, the project is all a bit mysterious right now, but the tech outfits appointed give some clues as to what it will entail: Gazooky Studios, a BAFTA and Prix Europa award-winning storytelling and extended reality (XR) technology company; Immersive Interactive, a specialist in touch-wall interactivity, and Music in Mind, which works to create witty and moving music and sound effects. Still as clear as mud? Here’s all Liverpool Chamber is saying about it: “Details are being kept under wraps for now, but audiences can expect to be plunged into a world where the past meets the present, and the fascinating social history of Victorian Liverpool and St George’s Hall comes to life.” Members of the public can actually help craft the project by sharing their memories of the historic St George’s Hall through photographs and videos by filling out this Google form.

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