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Consultation on Liverpool’s ‘Upper Central’ area heads for cabinet sign off

A public consultation on a draft masterplan for a newly branded area of Liverpool could be signed off next week.

‘Upper Central’ has the potential to create 2.5 million sq ft of new development space and an estimated 7,000 jobs over the coming decade.

Running from Central Station to Liverpool Science Park and Lime Street to Bold Street, the 56-acre zone is seen as key to the future development of the city’s Knowledge Quarter (KQ Liverpool).

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet will be asked next Friday (5 July) to approve that a public consultation begins on a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) to help shape the future direction of the area.

Its focus will be how Upper Central can become a magnet for digital, tech and creative sectors with the aim of providing three key goals :

  • To maximise the opportunities of 2.5m sq.ft of new developments (larger than Liverpool ONE), with potential to create up to 7,000 new jobs.
  • A new sustainable, walkable and recognisable gateway location within the city, promoting pedestrian movement, increased dwell time and a positive first impression to millions of residents and visitors arriving into the city centre at Lime Street or Central stations.
  • To ensure high quality public realm that creates a place that is distinctly Liverpudlian and attractive to occupiers, residents and investors.

The draft SRF has looked at how best to redevelop the Lime Street area around the Adelphi Hotel, Central Station and Mount Pleasant whilst dovetailing Liverpool John Moores University’s Copperas Hill site, plans for the Fabric District and various private sector schemes such as Circus Liverpool at the old Lewis’s building.

A major aspiration identified in the draft SRF is how to create a ‘super crossing’ at Ranelagh Place, a new pedestrian experience along Renshaw Street and to promote a new pedestrian route to Lime Street station from Copperas Hill to allow for improved access to the Fabric District and Paddington Village.

Once approved by the council’s cabinet, the SRF will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document to guide all future planning applications in the area and provide developers with detailed information of design and build issues including height, scale and massing of buildings.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson says: “Upper Central is vital to this city’s economic future and such is the scale of its potential it will be a huge employer for generations to come.

“This gateway project is now the final piece in the jigsaw to connect the site to the rest of the city centre and complete the wider regeneration of Lime Street, Mount Pleasant and Brownlow Hill.

“Its impact cannot be underestimated and I’m sure this draft SRF report will create a much need debate about how we ensure the future growth of this hugely important area.”

Colin Sinclair, chief executive of KQ Liverpool, adds: “The phenomenal growth of KQ Liverpool, along with the ongoing regeneration of Lime Street, has shone the spotlight on Upper Central.

“It represents one of the greatest development opportunities in the UK and, alongside Paddington Village, will have a major impact on the city’s economy, creating thousands of jobs, in science, tech, health, education, retail and leisure.

“The SRF will truly allow us to plan a world-class development, enabling Liverpool to continue to compete with any city in Europe.”

The Upper Central SRF team consists of:

Avison Young – strategic planning and consultation lead.

K2 Architects – masterplanning and architecture lead.

Planit-IE – place-making and landscape lead.