Adam Sheil speaks to a Lewis's worker
Liverpool’s biggest regeneration scheme to transform the city has been given the green light to start work on its second phase of construction.
The latest stage to be approved will see
Liverpool Central railway station completely
changed in the Central Village Development.
There will be the creation of a new ground
level which will serve as a leisure destination with a variety of shops. This will be linked with the station below through a series of escalators. A glass roof will be added on top of the centre adding to the open themes of the plan.
These plans are part of Merepark’s £160m Central Village Development, the same scheme that will see Lewis’s refurbished and transformed into mixed leisure and retail space. Last week it was announced that Vergo Retail, operators of Liverpool’s iconic department store, will be out of the building by June so that the revamp can begin in summer.
The developers are committed to the “constructive conservation“ of the Grade II listed building and plan on keeping its best loved features, including the nude Jacob Epstein statute known as ‘Dickie’.
Plans for the interior of the nine-storey, 420,000 sq. ft building include a new open pedestrian street which leads out onto a new public plaza and connects into the Central Village development and the Ropewalks district beyond.
Overall, the scheme is expected to create 500-1,000 new jobs, subject to the final tenant mix, according to Merepark. Ian Jones, director at Merepark, said: “We recognise that the Lewis’s building is an iconic building within Liverpool. From the start this has very much been a conservation-led project and we have worked closely with English Heritage and Liverpool City Council’s conservation officer to make sure our scheme preserves the unique character of Lewis’s.”
The Central Village development plan will comprise a 25-storey tower and a 20-storey mid-rise building including two new hotels, an apart-hotel, retail and leisure units, a 455-space multi-storey car park operated by QPARKS, cinema and offices. All these spaces will be combined with a stepped water race and timber boardwalk.
Holly Noble, 27, a shop worker in the city centre said: “I’m excited about this whole thing, but I remember been excited about it about three or four years ago when it was first announced. I thought that all these things would have happened by now.”
Merepark recently completed the redevelopment of 9-25 Bold Street, to provide a gateway to the main Central Village site.
By Sam Rogers, Website Editor
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