First Phase of Liverpool Garden Festival Site to be Returned to Original Glory

03 September 2009

Langtree and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) have come to agreement on a £2.1m grant which will see the formal gardens at the former International Garden Festival site in Liverpool restored to their former glory and reopened to the public.

The NWDA has agreed to invest the money and is now moving toward signing a detailed contract to that effect. The project is the culmination of many years work by a number of Agencies and interested parties including the NWDA, Langtree, Liverpool City Council, the Land Restoration Trust and Mersey Waterfront.

A separate contribution of £1.6m from the Northwest European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is also currently being considered for the scheme, bringing the total package of investment being sought to £3.7m.

The areas identified for restoration include:

  • The Chinese gardens, including its pagoda
  • The Japanese gardens
  • The lakes and associated watercourses
  • The woodland sculpture trails

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said: "The Agency is working closely with our partners to take forward the redevelopment of this site, which has the potential to create a major visitor attraction of international significance and enhance the wider Mersey Waterfront programme to maximise the potential of Merseyside’s waterfront areas. We are currently in the final stages of negotiations regarding our investment into the project to enable Langtree to take forward the regeneration of the site."

John Downes, Managing Director of Langtree said: "The grant we are finalising with the NWDA will allow us to not only bring forward the timescale for the restoration of the formal gardens but also accelerate delivery of the residential development. The Agency’s investment will also cover the management and maintenance of the park for 5 years, within which time it is anticipated that we will be able to commence development on the balance of the site and secure its long-term future."

Councillor Flo Clucas, Deputy Leader Liverpool City Council, said "This is very good news. It has been a matter of real shame that these formal gardens were allowed to get into such a poor condition following the International Garden Festival but now they will be restored and, importantly, there are plans in place to maintain them. In our Year of the Environment it is highly encouraging that more green space is to be opened up to the public."

Euan Hall, Chief Executive of the Land Restoration Trust, continued: "The former Garden Festival site has been a blot on Liverpool’s landscape for 25 years - finally a solution is in sight that will help make this the community asset it always should have been."