£7m fund revealed to provide transport, connectivity and public spaces boost for Liverpool city centre
A new £7m fund has been revealed to provide a huge boost for Liverpool city centre to make it more welcoming to businesses and visitors as it reopens post-pandemic.
The Liverpool Business Improvement District (BID) has today unveiled its five-year plan for the city, which includes a new project to improve connectivity from the waterfront to Lime Street and investment in public spaces including St John’s Gardens and Derby Square.
The funds will have a core focus on improving the public realm – with an investment of £1.2m each year.
The proposals are set to be announced at the BID’s annual showcase on Wednesday morning, an event taking place online.
According to the BID, the plans also include adding extra areas to its remit – adding ‘BIDs’ along the waterfront and St George’s Quarter to the existing Commercial District and Retail and Leisure BIDs in the city centre.
Bill Addy, CEO of Liverpool BID Company, said: “The work we have done over the past 16 years has helped to transform Liverpool city centre. With investment in the public realm, in improving connections have helped to make the city centre a better place to live, work and visit for everyone.
“This extended BID area allows more of the city centre to be managed and supported to create a coherent offer to both business and visitors.
“We know the public purse is shrinking and the BID Levy Payers are committed to working to improve the environment and condition of Liverpool.”
The positive news comes after pubs, restaurants and shops reopened across the UK on Monday. That saw nearly 200,000 people visit the city centre.
The plans unveiled on Wednesday include:
- Using a ‘Public Realm Fund’ to improve the city centre and focus on the city’s squares, including revitalising and enhancing Derby Square, St John’s Gardens and other civic squares in the city centre
- Helping to make Liverpool “more resilient” by creating a Subvention Fund to attract conferences and business events and representing the city at global forums, including the Global Business District Innovation Club
- Improving the city centre’s connectivity, including improving pedestrian access and connectivity for those on foot
- Working with Merseyrail and bus providers to improve the gateway access to the city centre
- Celebrating the ‘Pool of Life’ across Whitechapel as the key connecting route from William Brown Street to Royal Albert Dock, providing a focus for a creative heritage of the city
- Continuing to lead on Christmas decorations and seasonal animation with local producers, artists and creatives
- Extending the successful BID Police Team and BID Street Rangers to make the city centre safe, clean and welcoming.
Mr Addy added: “As we move into a post-pandemic world, Liverpool city centre has to be a place that attracts business, tourists, residents and day to day visitors. How we use city centres may shift so we need to work to keep Liverpool forward facing, ambitious and agile.”
The notification of the BID Ballot is April 29, with the ballot running from May 13 until June 10.
If over 50% of businesses vote yes, by number and rateable value the new BID area will begin on June 12.