Restoration of Liverpool Garden Festival

22 November 2006

The once glorious site of Liverpool Garden Festival, which has been left derelict for 20 years, took a step closer to being restored to its former glory this week.

The once glorious site of Liverpool Garden Festival, which has been left derelict for 20 years, took a step closer to being restored to its former glory this week.

Langtree McLean Ltd, a joint venture between Langtree Group plc and David McLean Developments, has teamed up with the Land Restoration Trust (LRT) to ensure the future of the former International Garden Festival site in Otterspool

Part of the plan for the site is to restore a total 56 acres, which includes the iconic Japanese Gardens, into new waterfront park. These areas will be maintained as a vital green resource for the people of Liverpool. Crucially the LRT will manage the site long term, therefore preventing the site becoming derelict - again. An important part of the plan is a commitment to consulting the local community at all stages both during the development and into the future.

The 1984 International Garden Festival, the first of its kind in Britain, was a huge success attracting millions of visitors. The Garden Festival was built on a site in the old south docks area by the Dingle. Much of the site was derelict and needed to be cleared of industrial waste before the landscaping for the festival could commence. The Festival contained more than sixty individual gardens, a Festival Hall, public pavilions and even a miniature railway, which toured the site. It also included a Pathway of Honour recognising Liverpool stars including Cilla Black, Ken Dodd, and Nerys Hughes.

Euan Hall Chief Executive of the Land Restoration Trust, comments, "The Garden Festival is a classic example of why the Land Restoration Trust is needed. Millions of pounds were spent transforming a derelict dock site - into a spectacularly successful garden festival. However, beyond the initial development there were no plans for the site. Now 20 years of slow decline later the site languishes derelict and we have an eyesore yet again, which brings down the quality of the neighbourhoods around it."

The Land Restoration Trust is a organisation, which provides long-term management and funding solutions for reclaimed derelict sites, effectively acting as a National Trust type organisation for green spaces. Therefore ensuring that once a site, such as the Garden festival, has been developed for community it is retained in perpetuity as a valuable resource for them. The Trust will fund appoint a site manager who can work with us, other partners and, most importantly the community to ensure that the huge potential of the site is developed for maximum benefit".