The dramatic new addition to Liverpool's famous skyline has left people staring up in wonder this week as the giant ferris wheel has started turning in the city.
The 80 metre-tall Liverpool One Wheel is the first in Europe to be sited on top of another building as it sits in Chavasse Park perched on the shopping complex. It is scheduled to stay in place until the end of January next year, with rides offering incredible views costing £6.
Simon Tracy, Project Manager of Xcite, who helped set up the wheel, said: “This is the first time this has been done in Europe so from an engineering point of view it’s a massive achievement building it on top of another.”
The wheel weighs a total of 365 tonnes and it takes 11 trailers to transport. It was hoped that the wheel would be opened on Wednesday 19th November but this wasn’t possible.
A spokesperson for Liverpool One said: “We were always hoping to open on Wednesday because we wanted to open with the ice palace but it was always a pending date and the weather made things difficult. It is worth remembering Liverpool One was a two-stage opening so it only had its first full anniversary in October.”
The ten qualified riggers who spent a week working with a 72 tonne crane to erect the wheel faced bad weather but now it is in place it can operate in winds of up to 50mph.
The idea has taken two years to achieve, according to Mr Tracy, who said: “They [Liverpool One] wanted to see how the space worked, engage in a retail liaison programme and once they’d completed that we could start talking properly this year.”
Reports suggest that more attractions like this may come to Liverpool in the future. Edward Mellor, from the Mellor's Group and owner of the Liverpool One Wheel, said: “That wheel, if it comes, will be down at the Echo Arena sitting very low and very small as opposed to being up here, 80 metres high.”
By Richard Ellis