Garden Festival park restored

Date: 14th June 2011

Publication: Place North West

Langtree has completed the first phase of its proposals to regenerate a derelict 90-acre site in Liverpool, prior to its opening to the public late in July.

The owner and developer of the site in Otterspool, where the International Garden Festival took place in 1984, has created and installed four new bridges, 2km of newly created pathways, 5.25m litres of water for 10 lakes, 5,000 decorative pagoda roof tiles sourced from China and the planting of more than five million wild flower seeds.

The 3.7m restoration was funded by North West Development Agency after an extended planning and consultation process. The ongoing long term management of the site will be delivered by the Land Trust working in association with Groundwork Merseyside.

The project team included Kirkby-based Mayfield Construction, Planit-IE, as landscape advisors, and WCP Associates.

Prior to work starting in February last year, much of the detail such as the yellow submarine, Japanese summer houses and ornaments from the festival 27 years ago had fallen victim to arson, vandalism and thieving. A dragon's head and one Chinese pagoda was all that remained.

Japanese landscape architect Satoru Izawa was flown in especially to support the restoration of one of the site's original features, the Japanese Garden, which stands alongside an oriental garden featuring a fully restored Chinese pagoda and Moon Wall.

The second phase of the project will see Langtree work with residential developers in bringing forward up to 1,374 new homes on 25 acres located on the area of the former festival hall dome.

John Downes, managing director at Langtree, said: "We believe that we are about create one of the most exciting residential schemes in the country set within a fantastic new contemporary park taking design cues from great European examples.

"Aided by a first class design team, and with the help and support of partners including Liverpool City Council, the North West Development Agency and the Land Trust, we have now completed the breathtaking transformation of the park.

"Over the next few years, the creation of a modern residential community on the 25 acres around the former Festival Hall Dome area will complete our plans and fulfill our ongoing commitment to bring the former Garden Festival site back to life