Liverpool City Council cabinet is set to approve a £1m programme involving site investigations on the former International Festival Gardens and Southern Grasslands zones that could pave the way for a major redevelopment of the Festival Park into a leisure attraction.
In 2017, the council had adopted a masterplan to create a £700m riverside suburb on part of the 90-acre site.
The land survey will now establish how the scheme could be progressed.
A major component of the redevelopment will be the delivery of a major new open space on part of the site.
Liverpool City Council purchased the former International Festival Gardens site, which is now known as Festival Park, next to the River Mersey.
The site comprises Festival Gardens, which underwent a £3.7m refurbishment in 2011 (25 acres), southern grasslands (37 acres) and a 27-acre development zone at the northern end of the site.
The development zone at the northern end has secured outline planning consent for a 1,380-unit residential development with additional retail and leisure facilities and this consent is valid until December 2022.
The area was formerly a landfill site.
The council has appointed K2 Architects to create the strategic masterplan and held a public consultation to gather feedback on transforming the area into a major visitor and cultural destination.
The council is holding discussions with leisure and attraction operator Heritage Great Britain to develop a business case for an attraction.
The land surveys and environmental assessments are expected to be completed in two months and for which phased closure of certain parts of the gardens is essential.
The council proposes to deliver up to 2,500 homes in a range and mix of types, served by a high-quality public realm, local shops, cafes and restaurants, and other community facilities, including a primary school and cultural buildings.
It proposes to create a leisure destination, while retaining and revitalising the public open space, the festival gardens and the southern grasslands with opportunities for sport, recreation and nature conservation.
The council also intends to create new land built into the river, including a ferry terminal; enable ease of access across the site with a focus on pedestrian and cyclist routes; create a green transport corridor to accommodate bus services, while improving connections to Priory Wood and St Michaels Station.
The K2 Architects masterplan has set out the site into five ‘places’: Dingle Bank – a residential zone; Jericho Wharf – social heart of the residential zone; Jericho Shore – beachfront neighbourhood; Festival Gardens; and The Southern Grasslands – to be remodelled into a natural habitat for wildlife and leisure activities.