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Team appointed to progress Liverpool’s Mathew Street masterplan

A new team has been appointed to produce a landmark vision and investment strategy for Liverpool’s Mathew Street area.

Liverpool City Council has chosen P-IE (Planit Intelligent Environments) to lead the way on creating the Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) for site of musical heritage.

Aside from Mathew Street, which is home to world famous venues including the Cavern Club and Eric’s, the SRF will also encompass the neighbouring Williamson Square area as it steers the future use of existing buildings and identifies opportunities to attract new investment.

P-IE will deploy a team of urban designers, music historians, destination economists, space-programmers and planners to devise the SRF, along with a new vision document to enhance the area’s attractions and expand on Liverpool’s £90 million a year Beatles-focused music heritage industry.

The industry currently supports more than 2,000 jobs in the city.

A more diverse mix of complementary building uses to operate throughout the day and evening, and an enhanced and more coordinated music tourism offer focused on Liverpool’s UNESCO World City of Music status are among the areas to be explored within the masterplan.

The redevelopment of derelict under-used and undesirable buildings; a diverse and inclusive programme for Williamson Square and the Playhouse Theatre; a comprehensive public art strategy; and a way-finding strategy to make the neighbourhood more legible and permeable will also be included.

Meanwhile the SRF masterplan, which will include consultation with stakeholders, local business and residents, will look to create a more vibrant and inviting environment with active ground floor uses for Liverpool citizens as well as international visitors; and a clearer network of streets and squares to improve the pedestrian experience.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson says: “This is about enhancing and expanding what we already have, particularly around Mathew Street which has been at the heart of the city’s music scene for decades, with venues such as Eric’s and the Iron Door being as influential as the Cavern Club.

“This is a unique opportunity to establish an experience no other city can offer, with high quality design which will sustain thousands of jobs in the hotel, retail and hospitality sectors for generations to come.”

The P-IE led team includes Arup (planners); Fourth Street Consulting (destination development and economics); GVA (property); Dave Pichilingi (music history and event planning) and Rob Burns (heritage).

Pete Swift, managing director at P-IE, adds: “We picked our team not just on their experience in producing design and planning guidance but on their knowledge and passion for Liverpool and its wider musical heritage.

“We are local and global – as is the appeal of the Beatles and the immense cannon of Liverpool bands, singers and their music. For us then, this is no ordinary planning project where we might focus on what a place will look like at the end, but rather how to control the journey along which Liverpool will showcase its rightful status as the most influential music city on the planet.”

Once the draft SRF is produced it would then be subject to a formal consultation period that’ll be undertaken over a period of six weeks in the new year.

The feedback will influence the final draft of the document before the city council considers whether to formally adopt it.