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Issue Date:- 02 June 2008
Liverpool ONE, Phase 1 Is Launched!!!
LIVERPOOL was in celebratory mood
on Thursday, 29 May 2008, for the launch of Phase 1 of the new
development programme, Liverpool 1 in the heart of the city. Crowds
began building up to enjoy the razzmatazz, which ensued. Eventually,
some 200,000 people flocked into the city to sample what was on
offer. There was a distinct festive feel to the day, with a real air
of confidence and pride, despite the awareness of the downturn in
the Western economies. Liverpool seems resolutely determined to
stand proud once again. Bright sunshine encouraged us; it seemed a
good omen, and good humour prevailed. Events began at 9:30 am,
with speeches from the podium in Lord Street/South John Street.
Click on above to hear and see
the speeches and also contributions from the Lord Mayor and from
Joanne Jennings, Chief Executive of Liverpool 1. Also we
have a fantastic full video all about Liverpool ONE and more.
Lord Home of Grosvenor thanked all those
involved and also the people of Liverpool for enduring the
disruption and access restriction without much complaint. He stated
of the day, " We begin the process of giving back to Liverpool
an important part of the city centre. As promised, we are reopening
two key streets, (Paradise Street and South John Street) in order to
reconnect the existing shopping area with the Waterfront and the
spectacular Arena and Convention Centre, before very large numbers
of people come to enjoy the Capital of Culture summer." Cllr
Warren Bradley replied.
Then, at 10am, The Lord Mayor began a countdown by the crowd leading
to the pressing of a plunger by Lord Home and Cllr Bradley, which
allowed the curtains to part, revealing the new South John Street
beyond. This was accompanied by brief pyrotechnics and a
stunning acrobatic display.
The public was then allowed access down the red carpeted
thoroughfare into the new area. Unlike most out of town shopping
malls, this exciting and handsome new centre, open to the air and
spacious, still feels an integral part of a real city, even with the
red carpet trappings of the day. Many familiar names are there
including Lewis's and Debenhams. Others are newcomers to the area.
Throughout the day, on a specially constructed catwalk, high fashion
shows were given, displaying goods on offer in various stores. Debenhams, proprietors of a superb new store on the corner with Lord
Street, really added to the jollity of the day, by offering
face-painters, which delighted both the youngsters whom they
transformed and passers-by who enjoyed seeing their happy faces.
Disney also, by encouraging fancy dress, drew in brightly dressed
children, which added even more colour to the day. Disney has opened
its new concept store with a wealth fascinating features, which
children and adults found well worth a visit, as they did Build- a
Bear, tucked round the corner of a side street. Liverpool FC's new
shop was also a mecca for fans.
John Lewis' spacious building has an interesting full height mobile,
which will change with the seasons and an interesting walkway, which
when viewed from the outside, appears to narrow to a point! The
walkway connects the area to the car park. Other stores did their
bit by colourful displays and staff wearing fancy outfits. All the
outlets appeared to be buzzing. People were also able to peer
down through a glass cover at the remains of the first wet dock,
which was unearthed during excavation work and which helps give a
sense of continuity.
Bands played on the stages, and a fascinating army of jugglers,
dancers, stilt walkers and aquatic themed mobile acts, dolphin
riders and bubble blowing old-fashioned divers, toured the area
providing entertainment. Local school children from St Francis of
Assisi Academy; St Annes; Stanley Primary School; St Vincent de Paul
School; Kensington Infant and Junior School; and St Peter's Primary
School were commissioned by Liverpool to provide two pieces of art -
decorated hard hats with the theme of 'Liverpool City of Culture
08',which were displayed along the road and, with Brouhaha
International, a concert. Karlene from Brouhaha commented:-
"What a great space for performances has been provided."
Hopefully, it will be well used in the future.
The area, which has been regenerated, was a run down part of the
City, including the unloved Steer's House and wasteland. Chavasse
Park had provided a great venue for fairs and local events however.
Happily, although still off limits, Chavasse Park has been
transformed, perched above a massive underground car park, a
masterstroke indeed. All will ultimately open up to connect with the
Albert Dock area development and the Pier Head in Phase 2 Grand
Opening, due on 30 September, when the cinema, two new hotels,
further shops and leisure attractions including restaurants,
designed in zigzag fashion to afford open views over the
water-front. However, this is
not the only redevelopment of the City, work
on the new canal connection at the Pier Head
and the new Museum continue apace. Work is
envisaged to improve existing central areas
of the City.
has been speculated that the new development might take trade from
the older areas, but let's hope that it is an omen that, on the
launch day, other parts of the City also buzzed as people spread out
to enjoy all this great City has to offer.
What a difference 10 years make, as the
photographs show. Liverpool awaits
with eager anticipation.
We wish the city every
Here are some
short snippets from shoppers and shop
workers on the Liverpool ONE Opening Day:-
* "We've been very, very busy.
Everyone quite happy. There's a really big
future coming. It will be successful." Ann Marie, Sparkle Cleansing Team,
* "Staff worked till 2am then started
again at 4:30am to get this ready. There was
an air of real excitement. John Lewis is
lovely all this will bring people in from
outside. I hope the recession won't spoil it
but I doubt that it will. Liverpool looks
beautiful and with the waterfront when its
all open in September it will be even
better. Something for the youngsters for the
* "All that's good for Liverpool is
good for everyone. The Fire Service has been
involved throughout ensuring the safe and
smooth running of the complex. The future
looks bright. All part of the revitalised
City of the Future." Fire fighter.
* "About time some serious money was
spent on Liverpool, but it's a shame there's
not more local people here. There are too
many workers from outside. Its hard to say
how things will go in the future as the as
the world market goes. The government within
the government that makes major decisions
and if they can sort out our mess."
Les, the glazier.
* "I was at Liverpool University. The
City has really changed. Its Fantastic! Been
to museum and art gallery, with my children
making things. Just arrived at Liverpool 1.
Its lively, will come again for second phase
in September." Late afternoon
* "Access not too bad, but hard to
find Shopmobility. Have been charged for
parking, free at Trafford Centre."
Wheel Chair user.
* "I am proud to be from Liverpool.
I'm quite impressed. Haven't half put on a
show. Peace and respect."
First time visitor from Birmingham and
* "Lovely to see so many people.
Wonderful atmosphere. Everyone appears
happy. It's been a stunner. We've been on
the floor, now the only way is up. Its been
a good project. Good and windy! We're
biased. All workers are scousers."
One Park Avenue glazier.
* "Glad to see this. Only a few months
back this was a sea of mud! It's amazing
where everyone is coming from. They're
coming in droves. Having a great time. Found
a parking space easily. Would love to work
here." Two young ladies from
here to see
7 Pages of photographs taken at the
opening... Are you in any of them?
from Lee, Linda, Colin Patrick and Ed
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