Upper Central – covering 56 acres in the heart of Liverpool city centre – is to be the subject of a draft masterplan to create an international standard gateway site to a £2bn flagship regeneration scheme.
Running from Central Station to Liverpool Science Park and Lime Street to Bold Street, Upper Central is seen as key to the future development of the city’s blossoming Knowledge Quarter (KQ Liverpool).
And 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 :-
1. To maximise the opportunities of 2.5million sq.ft of new developments (larger than Liverpool ONE), with potential to create up to 7,000 new jobs.
2. 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.
3. To ensure high quality public realm that creates a place that is distinctly Liverpudlian and attractive to occupiers, residents and investors.
Stakeholder feedback on the draft SRF identified a need to re-brand the area. As a result a new website www.uppercentral.co.uk will be launched to coincide with the start of the public consultation.
Led by a team of independent planning experts, 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.
To achieve this future development the draft Upper Central SRF is focused on eight key themes:
• Creation of a True Gateway for Liverpool
• Improving linkages to the rest of the city centre and pedestrian experience
• A mix of uses to create a quality of place and identity
• Striving for high quality design, appropriate massing and landmark buildings
• Provision of high-quality infrastructure
• Holistic view of development context and creating a new city district
• Preserving and enhancing heritage assets
• Delivery and collaboration
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.
Liverpool City Council, which recently acquired Central Station shopping centre and is overseeing public realm proposals for St George’s Plateau, as part of the £45m city centre connectivity scheme, has also set out an ambition to redevelop the Mount Pleasant Car Park area to create an international standard gateway for the KQ Liverpool Mayoral Development Zone which currently employs 7% of the city’s workforce.
The council is also currently developing the £1bn Paddington Village scheme in the heart of the development zone and has identified the need to ensure development continues apace through to the retail district of the city centre.
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.
Liverpool City Council, which is overseeing an unprecedented £14bn of development activity, has already adopted an SRF for the Ten Streets Creativity District and is looking to adopt further SRFs for the Baltic Triangle, Williamson Square and Mathew Street and is currently consulting on a draft SRF for the Commercial Business District.
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
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “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 needed debate about how we ensure the future growth of this hugely important area.”
Neil Lucas, Director at Avison Young said: “We are pleased to be able to share our vision and ideas for Upper Central. The SRF area represents the new heart of the expanded city centre and is a key part of the ongoing regeneration of the city. The SRF sets out an ambitious framework to return this area to its former glory through positive placemaking with exceptional new public realm, infrastructure, and exemplary architecture, and we look forward to receiving feedback from the public.”
Peter Swift, managing Director of Planit-IE, said: “The Upper Central project enables the connection between the city core, Knowledge Quarter and the communities beyond to happen in a focussed and imaginative way. Through a network of repurposed streets and new public spaces, this key city district will further reinforce the gateway to the city and its ambitions for future growth.”
Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive of KQ Liverpool, commented: “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.”