Engage has been invited to sit on a number of bodies in the city and nationally to assist and advise about various things that affect city centre residents and leaseholders. We will be publishing a general idea of some of the issues being raised and decisions made which are permissible within the Terms of Reference of each group.
Jump to a section:
- ACCL Monthly Events Neighbourhood Meeting
- ACCL Quarterly Events Update Meeting (LAG)
- Baltic Triangle Stakeholder Meeting
- Canal & River Trust: North West Regional Advisory Board
- Canal & River Trust: Liverpool Waterspace Strategy Implementation Group
- LEASE (The Leasehold Advisory Service)
- Liverpool Waterfront Business Partnership (LWBP)
- World Heritage Site Steering Group
You can e-mail any concerns or issues you have to the Chair of Engage at firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCL Monthly Events Neighbourhood Meeting
02.09.16: Confirmed today that this group will no longer meet and is merged with the ACCL Quarterly Events Update Meeting (LAG) see below.
06.05.16: The Monthly Events Neighbourhood Meeting has an invitation list that includes 6 residents no-one of whom attended this meeting. Engage sits there to represent all residents affected by the Arena, Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre. Wapping Quay, The Keel, The Block, Colonnades Albert Dock, Clippers Quay and The Anchorage are all invited. No-one from Royal Quay has ever shown an interest in attending and would be welcomed if anyone ever did. As would someone from Mariners Wharf and Mariners Way, Coburg Wharf and Quebec Quay. These gatherings give residents a regular opportunity to give feedback to ACCL on past events and to make suggestions for future events. This meeting was run by Nick Ward newly appointed Operations Manager at ACCL.
01.04.16: There was little new to report and an analysis was made of the March events and a review of April was undertaken. No serious difficulties were expected or experienced. The Keel attended for the first time but no-one from The Block, Wapping or the Colonnades was present this month.
05.02.16: Engage sits alongside all local neighbouring properties to the ACCL to share on a monthly basis events and incidents that might be affecting those who live, work or stay nearby. This month the Rock & Roll Marathon made a presentation on their plans for the event that will take place later in the year. Next meeting 01.04.16.
ACCL Quarterly Events Update Meeting (LAG)
19.05.17: No residents attended again except Colonnades (Albert Dock) who arrived after the meeting had begun. The meeting went through past and future events at the ACCL and there had been no reports of incidents from any residents since the last meeting. The biggest event coming up on the site would be the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 27th/28th May. In July there will be the British Style Collective event. ACCL announced that the roads on the Kings Dock Estate had now become the property of LCC and it was no longer private land (formerly HCA) and so was being policed by regular traffic wardens. On 30th May there will be 4 days of pavement repairs on the estate. The meeting was informed about a recent meeting at South Ferry Island in the Marina and about 65 residents turned out wanting to talk about bus issues and parking but no-one showed from MerseyTravel (there was no indication that they knew about the meeting) and the problem is around enforcement by C&RT as they own the land. Engage has been a part of this problem for years and there is no easy solution but people continue to explore ways forward. The next meeting is Friday 1st September 10.30am at the ACCL.
03.03.17: No residents attended again except Colonnades (Albert Dock) who arrived after the meeting had begun. ACCL informed everyone about the 25,000 people expected to attend the MCM Comic Con exhibition over 11th-12th March. The Green Party have a conference on 30th March. There are a number of running events over the next few months: 1) 2nd April BTR Half-Marathon ; 2) 19th June UK Kidney Week Fun Run; 3) 13th Oct Royal College of General Practitioners. Jamie Riley never attended so there was no further discussion on emergency planning and evacuation. There was disturbing information shared about a gang of between 7-11 youths on bikes causing anti-social behaviour during half-term last week which included bus-stop vandalism. Everyone in the area was asked to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour. Next meeting 19th May 2017 to hear about Rock and Roll Marathon details.
05.12.16: Very poor attendance from residents with only the Albert Dock present. ACCL expressed their disappointment and reminded everyone that the named person can always send a representative. Evacuations and emergency planning was discussed and noted that action was required as things were still unclear. This is the responsibility of Jamie Riley from LCC. Everyone commented that the city’s taxi service was ‘shocking’ and no-one seemed capable of improving things despite years of comments and complaints. The situation is adversely affecting the business of the ACCL/ECL. The Labour Party is returning to Liverpool in 2018. Andy Goudie, Harbour Master with Canals and River Trust, is available for referrals about ownership issues and water safety. Sean Morrison from Albert Dock suggested a meeting for everyone around the dock walls to discuss common issues. Engage offered to co-sponsor and assist in calling the meeting.
02.09.16: The meeting was informed that the Monthly Neighbourhood Meeting was now being cancelled and incorporated into this meeting. All local resident organisations were invited to attend and apart from Engage’s presence there was no-one in attendance from Wapping Quays, Colonnades (ADRA), The Block and Royal Quay but a member of staff attended from The Keel. A big issue is the Labour Party Conference from 24th-28th September which will involve high levels of security and possible road closures. Colleagues were advised about Freshers Fayre from 30th Sept-1st October. Advance warning was given of the City Fireworks Display which this year will be a joint event with Wirral and will be on the river. So expect serious crowds on 5th November along the Waterfront. Jamie Riley gave an important presentation about the new Public Information Zone map and the expectations around responding to a major incident in the city centre. Engage asked for guidance and support in making sure all apartment residents are prepared for any eventuality. Next meeting 2nd December 2016.
04.03.16: Engage has a place at the Arena and Convention Centre (ACCL) Quarterly Meeting to analyse previous events and to discuss forthcoming events. It is a way in which ACCL constantly monitors its impact upon the local community. Next meeting 03.06.16.
Baltic Triangle Stakeholder Meeting
24.03.16: Engage represents all residents of the Baltic at this gathering and a local resident Diana Heredia attends all meetings. She is reporting back below:
- JUXDIT is launching the crowdfunding campaign on the 04APR16, which will run for 60days with a target of £40k for arts, transport, street lights & events
- Binary Early Bird Tickets still available, Echo Press Release went out last Thu, “Gatherings” 24MAY & Conference 25MAY in FACT
- Schmooze 28MAY16, 5pm @ 54St James St, EXPO of Baltic Triangle Businesses & Keynote Speakers: Independent Liverpool, Suggestion for Neighbourhood Forum to be part of Expo to increase awareness of the project in the area
- Baltic Triangle Survey: 80 responses, findings to be shared with Neighbourhood Planning Forum
- Marketing, Website & Social Media: EasyTec exploring monetisation of website, Update of website with monthly features, etc.
- Noticeboards ready to print
- AOB: John (City Sheds) reports that Freehold to his site has been sold to developers by Council despite reassurances that were given to him in the past that this would not happen
- Cameron from Swanky Malone Hair Shop introduced himself, he is to move into the Artisan Building soon
- Helen of Be One Percent introduced herself, they will host a lunch on 22APR16 @ Unit 51 and a Pub Quiz for their 5th birthday party @ Camp&Furnace on 12MAY16
Canal & River Trust: North West Regional Advisory Board
06.12.19: This well-attended meeting was held in Wigan and focused on Estates Rationalisation. Daniel Greenhalgh made a full presentation about all the changes and challenges facing CRT in the North West including the future and role of the Ellesmere Port National Waterways Museum, the release of the safety video involving Nick Pope father of deceased Charlie Pope who drowned in one of the Manchester canals on a night out. We looked at our 3 year business planning, including our strategic priorities, our purpose and our vision as well as measurable outcomes around our core areas of work and also some new focus areas.
It was suggested that the Engage member should make contact with the Project Officers for the Sefton corridor project and staff agreed to make those introductions. Liverpool continues to be an important part of the CRT estate and Andrea Barrett is leading on that work. Up to the present there has been very little contact or communication with the NW RAB member from Liverpool about Liverpool and CRT’s plans for the area. It is hoped that in the future that will change.
14.06.19: The meeting was held in Wigan and was the first the Chair of Engage was able to attend with the new Chair Nigel Weatherill. It was an intensive and very strategic meeting but Liverpool is one of the five areas that are a priority for CRT in the years ahead. The issues to be addressed are: IDENTITY: Signage and Lighting; CONNECTIVITY: Liverpool Waters,Across and Around the Water; PARTICIPATION: Waterspace Strategy, Events, Watersports Centre. There was a great deal of support for this and indeed pride in the importance to the charity of being a UNESCO WHS asset owner. The Board was informed about the forthcoming planning application from Everton FC to be submitted before the end of the year and understood the significance for them of losing the UNESCO status should that planning application be granted. Serious discussions would be held at a national level.
Also a stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal running through Sefton has been chosen to receive significant funding to enhance the health and wellbeing opportunities of the canal in this area. There will be more details released in due course. There will be a forthcoming Annual Public Meeting held in Liverpool after the summer which will bring people from all over the North West to Liverpool. There will be a focus on the Liverpool City Region as the canals and waterspaces are present across a number of local authorities.
Canal & River Trust: Liverpool Waterspace Strategy Implementation Group
30.10.18: The meeting was held at the Marina and was the first to be attended by Daniel Greenhalgh the new North West Regional Director. He brought with him most of his team including Steve Bi, Andrea Ba, Steve Hi, Richard, Nick Sm, and Andy Goudie the Harbour Master. Also present were reps from Wapping, Albert Dock, Marina, the LEP and Maritime Museum. The meeting was to look at re-shaping the group and improving the way CRT are connected to potential partners in the city. It was useful and constructive. There is a need to better understand the change of approach of CRT to becoming a health and well-being charity. Daniel was well received and he went away to bring proposals to the group about a way forward.
12.10.17: The meeting was held in HMS Eaglet, the Royal Navy HQ on Sefton Street. A report was received from Richard at CRT about shortlisting for trip boat/water taxi operators for south docks. Operations expected to commence by Easter 2018. The proposed Aquapark in Dukes Dock has received approval by LCC Planning Committee. Sue Grindrod (Gower Street Estates) spoke to the Albert Dock Northern Gateway project which was well received by everyone. A number of other projects were spoken of including Engage’s BlueGreen report with ideas about a Liverpool Waterline and a Riverside Walk plus better green connectivity within the Kings Dock estate. Information was requested about the proposed Brunswick Way Apartments.
11.05.17: The meeting was held in the Quayside Marina. Minutes of the meeting 26.01.17 can be found HERE. Further update on the Kings Dock Masterplan which has been passed by the Planning Committee and the lease from HCA was passed over to LCC on 31.03.17. Potential developers are in discussions with LCC about building on the site. No details were given. The debate about Canning Bridges is on-going though there is some progress. Progress is being made about a water-taxi on the dock system. There was a desire to see the Floating Grace get more marketing. A great presentation was made by Nick Smith C&RT about funding opportunities to deliver the projects. The context for these projects needs to be Liverpool City Region Growth Strategy: Building Our Future which you can read HERE and the Manifesto of Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram: Our Future Together HERE. An idea is to see how we can get more Tall Ships to come to Liverpool. An obstacle is not being able to access and use the Graving Dock at Canning which has a boat in there that seems unable to be moved for financial reasons. dates of future events around the docks can be found HERE on the Culture Liverpool website.
26.01.17: Engage made a presentation to the group about its BlueGreen Liverpool report and showed 2 videos which are on this website. There was an update on K2 Architects’ Masterplan for Salthouse Dock with the only real change being the location in the dock for the floating structures from Chantelle Seaborn. There was also an update by her on the Kinneir Dufort branding excercise (see last notes below).There was a feeling that the brief hadn’t been delivered as expected and that the ideas weren’t sufficiently site specific. Richard Beardsley (see below) updated members on the proposed water-taxi service and the floating restaurant. He also introduced some plans for developing the water space at Dukes Dock which would be aimed very much at families and young people. On the Canning Bridges project there were calls to just get on with it!
20.09.16: Richard Thomas, Development Director at bloc working in a partnership with C&RT as H2O Urban a waterside developer, made a presentation about a concept to develop Salthouse Dock with floating restaurants and cafe. A planning application could be made early 2017. Richard Beardsley, C&RT Business Development Manager, spoke about a project looking to deliver a cruising restaurant/trip boat which would involve the successful applicant also running a water taxi. Tenders will go out end of this year start of next. A presentation was made by Amey and LCC about the project to deliver the Canning Bridges which is in the bidding stage and no date is available for when or if works will commence. Clare Rawlinson, Marketing Manager at Gower Street Estates, gave an update about the Heritage and Interpretation Trail at Albert Dock being financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Wide Sky Design are delivering this project and the launch date is set for January 2017. Chantelle Seaborn, C&RT Waterway Manager North West, delivered an update about branding and signage with a company called Kinneir Dufort. It sounded really creative and interesting. Further presentations were made by Ian Pollitt from Peel’s Liverpool Waters and also David Beard from Liverpool Marina about development plans in the dock system. Next meeting will be January 2017.
26.04.16: Engage made a presentation to the meeting about how we might start to address greening the blue and the grey. Elaine Cresswell, Project Manager of the Engage project Blue/Green Liverpool, delivered the presentation. Samantha Campbell presented on the upgrade to the Kings Dock Masterplan. Paul Grover from Arup, presented on the Moda Living, Princes Reach project at Princes Dock. David Beard from the Liverpool Marina updated the meeting about his plans to re-brand and refurbish the Marina Bar and Grill. The next meeting is planned for 20.09.16 at the Marina.
23.02.16: Engage is representing Waterfront residents in the re-visioning of the original South Docks Waterspace Strategy document but now with a focus on delivering most of the recommendations within a short, medium and long term framework. So far the group has agreed Terms of Reference and proposals for each dock. Members are taking away tasks to see what can be delivered in the immediate future.
LEASE (The Leasehold Advisory Service)
14.12.16: Unable to attend this meeting of the Stakeholder Forum due to early start and expensive train tickets.
08.06.16: A meeting of the Stakeholder Forum was held in the Home Office in London. A report was given on the projects and development taking place during the re-structuring of Lease and the service it offers to leaseholders and professionals. Check out their excellent new website: http://www.lease-advice.org/ ,there will be a new Early Neutral Evaluation and Mediation service offered to social housing providers as this is supported financially by the National Leasehold Group. We looked at other objectives for the next 6 months including launching a webchat service and new learning opportunities for leaseholders. There will also be a new quarterly email newsletter which can be subscribed to and will be published on the Engage E-Newsletter Notice page.
22.02.16: Engage sits on the Educating R.I.T.A. task group that is assisting and advising Lease on the commissioning of a set of short educational videos to help people with questions about leasehold. We made suggestions about how to road-map the individual videos and about sourcing multi-media companies for the task from outside London as well as within. We suggested what issues were important to leaseholders and how they should be approached. Our contribution was valued and valuable.
Liverpool Waterfront Business Partnership (LWBP)
26.06.19: Held in the Exhibition Centre Liverpool, in the absence of chair Sue Grindrod. The first intervention was a presentation by Chris Brown from Marketing Liverpool which was an amazing and fascinating account of the statistics and data about tourism and visitors to the city and the plans for a new brand launch later in the year. It will involve Kyami: Liverpool – Do It Your Way. When asked about why there was little or no apparent marketing of the WHS it was reported that we market heritage and that most of the WHS was ‘boarded up’. When challenged about that assessment of the extensive site the chair immediately closed down discussion. There are designated WHS areas and only part of one of them is closed to the public. Clearly there is another agenda here at city council level. It was mentioned that though the number of nights booked in the city’s hotels rises year on year it masks the reality that for the past 4 years occupancy rates have been falling.
Other news that was welcomed is that there will be no Pier Head Village this year. Everyone including Engage was delighted to hear that the fun fair will not be returning. The Bordeaux Wine Festival is to become an annual event and be expanded into a culinary festival as well as a wine festival. Also the River of Light Festival is to be expanded into more than just a bonfire night spectacular. There are some wonderful plans to turn it into an annual Light Festival over 9 days with fireworks as the finale and a number of outstanding international and national light installations.
12.12.18: Held in The Venue, the Royal Liver Building where many were absent due to the closeness of Christmas. There was little shared that is of interest to waterfront residents except a presentation given by Chris Devaney from RLB 360 (Royal Liver Building 360) who gave a fascinating presentation on the immanent opening up of the Liver Building to the public as a visitor destination. The same presentation will be given to all residents at our forthcoming Waterfront Residents Meeting on January 23rd 2019 at the ACCL. Engage was invited to attend a city-wide meeting about homelessness on 4th April 2019 organised by the Parish Church.
13.06.18: Held in RIBA North we had a presentation about the Giants and also about the Albert Dock Charitable Foundation (ADCF). Giant’s theme is ‘Liverpool’s Dream’ from 4th-7th October. There will be significant road closures affecting many waterfront residents and details will be published nearer the time. Royal Mail will deliver to every home a leaflet describing the road closures that will occur. Residents can follow developments at www.giantspectacular.com and Jen Falding is responsible at the Culture Company. It looks like it will be another stunning spectacle which despite the October weather should be a fabulous time for the city.
Residents at the Colonnades will be surprised and pleased to hear that the ADCF states that ‘residents’ are among those who are ‘welcoming community participation in the Dock’. This was what many have always wanted to do but when Engage worked with Gower Street Estates (GSE) last year to arrange an event during Heritage Week strong objections were raised by people within GSE and ADCF to the Colonnades being involved. Maybe there has been a welcome change of heart!
Everyone was disappointed to learn that Pier Head Village is returning for a 3rd year. It is felt that it isn’t the right event or right quality for the WHS location. It seriously adversely affects many businesses on the Pier Head and the LWBP hopes it will not return after their contract ends this year. There are members working on the Pier Head Strategy Group and they made an interesting report about their hopes and ideas for the area as a destination in the city (which it currently isn’t).
Finally it was announced that a temporary car park was to be constructed at Kings Dock, the fire-damaged car park is to be demolished and a new one built but not on that footprint instead at the top of the access road onto the Kinds Dock. The existing car park footprint will then become available for development (not clear if that is with or without the presence of The Block!) Nothing will happen until after the Labour Party Conference.
07.03.18: Held at the Tate we heard from The Adventure Dock Co who are about to launch a new aquatic park in Dukes Dock that opens to the public on 5th May. It will be run by Tim Woodhead who already runs the Liverpool Wake Park in Queens Dock and other aquatic venues around the country. There was a fascinating presentation from Liverpool Waterfront Heat Network that is being coordinated by Neil Johnson from LCC and James Johnson from LEP. Work is being done to explore the possibility of using the water from the dock system to heat some of the older buildings around the Albert Dock and possibly others.
A discussion was held again about the Pier Head Village and everyone was asked to make contact directly with the Mayor if they felt it necessary. There was consistent and unanimous criticism of the event and many people present had attempted to offer ideas and support to improve the offer but to no avail. The Mayor remains supportive despite the comments that have been sent to him.
Discussion was also held about the Local Plan Consultation.
12.12.17: Held in the Town Hall the meeting first heard from Laurence Kenwright from Signature Living who was asked to speak about his new venture in the Cunard Building but spent some time spelling out how great and important his company was. He claimed that 85% of the population of Liverpool were members of his Facebook page and he was leading the city in peer-to-peer social platforms. He had just signed up a Michelin-Star chef for the new restaurant in the Cunard. He stated that the adjacent British Musical Experience exhibition ‘didn’t know what they were doing’ so he had come to the rescue and now things were improving significantly. Website hots for Signature Living are more than double those for Visit Liverpool.
The second speaker was Claire McColgan from Culture Liverpool telling everyone about the events planned for 2018. It was an impressive list which she said was ‘designed to put the city on an international stage’. We were all asked to do what we can to promote the city during 2018. A big launch would be held on 11th January.
Then Martin O’Shea from Pier Head Village gave an evaluation of the fairground on the waterfront saying it had been a smash hit this year. One member present said her business had lost thousands of pounds due to her clients being let-down by the aspect from the Liver Building not being what they had been expecting. Liverpool City Council had been very supportive Martin said of his business. Once he had left the meeting a majority of those present complained vociferously about the inappropriate location for a fun-fair and that maybe it should be in one of our many parks or elsewhere in the city. Engage said it turned our prestigious WHS location into Blackpool on Mersey.
There was then an update on a number of items the one most affecting residents would be the plans for the Strand. Key stakeholders had been consulted but Engage wondered if residents had been consulted. What do residents at Mann Island think about it, or the Colonnades, or Wapping or indeed Royal Quay? Are they even ware or the plans?
13.09.16: The meeting was held in No1 Mann Island, HQ of Merseytravel. Chair suggested that what is needed is a Waterfront Strategy bringing together everyone from Festival Gardens to Liverpool Waters. This is what Engage tried to do with a Waterfront Neighbourhood Forum opposed by many businesses who are part of this group. Be great to see it happen. A presentation was received from Cathy Elwyn of Merseytravel about the Wirral Line Closures. £340m of works due over the first 6mths next year. Good video worth watching below:
Ian Pollitt from Peel made a presentation about Liverpool Waters. A number of projects are in the pipeline and Peel hope some of them will go forward for planning consent next year. Moda Living should be on site at Princes Dock in the near future for their residential PRS development and another two residential developments are being proposed for the adjoining sites.
Suzy Jones, Director of RIBA North, gave a presentation about the soon to open (though no date available as of now) gallery and office space in Mann Island. Residents will be invited to the launch party when it is announced.
10.05.16: This meeting was held in the new Pullman Hotel at the Exhibition Centre. Annette McGarry from Marketing Liverpool gave a presentation on the year concluded (May ’15-May ’16). They are happy with the increased promotion of the Waterfront in International media outlets with 36 items published. A video was posted on Ellentube which has 3.2m weekly views. Julie Turner from Culture Liverpool presented the International Mersey River Festival 3rd-5th June. 200,000 visitors expected. With a £6.6m economic impact. The Northern Boat Show is in its 2nd year and is quadrupling in size and is expected to go-it-alone at some point in the future. There will be a One-way system in place during the event from Albert Dock to Pier Head by the Museum of Liverpool and then back along the Strand.
While discussing Future Opportunities a number of items came up including: the devolution agenda; business growth and support; culture on the Waterfront; European funding opportunities; model of the South Bank experience; transport links and strategy and Liverpool 2.
Kings Dock Masterplan was mentioned by Peter Skates in terms of not being radically different from the original HCA plan except there would be no over-hanging apartment blocks in Wapping Dock. Plan will soon be released to the public.
09.02.16: Engage represents Waterfront residents on the LWBP by kind invitation of the Board of Directors. This is a business-focused organisation that is happy to have residents sitting in on their meetings. At the meeting this month one of the biggest challenges facing the LWBP was the invitation to extend their influence south and north along the river and also to consider expanding across the river to position itself for the City Region devolution deal. Engage has long advocated an organisation that holds a vision for the whole Waterfront area and the attempt at Neighbourhood Planning was an effort to bring residents and businesses together along the entire Waterfront. Details were shared about the forthcoming International Waterfront Forum (16th-17th June 2016). A report was received on marketing the Waterfront. Details of the Bicentenary of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal were shared. Next meeting 10.05.16.
World Heritage Site Steering Group
05.12.19: The meeting was informed fairly early on into its discussions that Peter Swift and Rob Burns had been commissioned by the Council to produce a new form of communication especially for UNESCO (though this was objected to by a few members who thought it should be focused on local people as an answer to the negative press when we are deleted) as a last throw of the dice to try and hold onto the status though some cynically see it as being able to show that at least we tried when we are deleted. One member asserted that “we’re going to lose the status and we shouldn’t say we’re not”.
The project will focus on the North Shore (cleverly not called Liverpool Waters as that might be too close to Peel) and be about the only controversial aspect of the 6 areas of the WHS and will also include the Ten Streets in the buffer zone. It will deal with the historic tall buildings previously on the site as well as the tradition of filling in docks and re-purposing the land. It is hoped that this completed document/film will be owned by the Steering Group but some members thought that wasn’t likely.
Peter Swift from PlanIt made a very convincing argument for the project which he said was more advocacy rather than promotional and it was “to take the city to those who cannot come”. The DSOCR was not the best tool to communicate our position. Also it needs to be said that positive change has taken place in the WHS and that should be noted. The best form of communication was pictures not words and that would inform the media chosen for the effort. Pete noted that the HUL principles and the UN SDGs were examples of accessible language that could be used in the video. A good point was made that since the first two UNESCO monitoring visits (which were a disaster for the city) much has changed locally. Different tools will be used to communicate our vision to UNESCO, including VR goggles, video, print.
Everton FC are to take the proposed Bramley-Moore stadium to a Design Review on 10th December before submitting the planning application before Christmas. There was a complaint that this was inappropriate and mere lip-service with no time at all to make any changes that might emerge from the review. Other news that emerged at the meeting was that the idea of a WHS Trust has now been abandoned because of costs. We heard that the Mayoral Task Force still meets though there were no reports of what they are doing.
I asked DCMS, who were listening via a phone link, what they were doing to make contact with the UNESCO ambassadors to communicate our position before the meeting next year. The reply seemed to be that there was no government at present and things would have to wait until a new government was formed but that they would put it on the agenda for the incoming Minister. I also informed the meeting that Engage was sending me to Paris to attend the forthcoming World Heritage Watch meeting at UNESCO HQ in January from 19th-20th. There was still no Tall Buildings policy and no Local Plan agreed. (Gerry Proctor)
05.09.19: Once again this meeting heard some very challenging comments around the table. Basically it is now very clear that there seems to be little chance of Liverpool retaining its WHS status. Personally myself and Engage are deeply saddened by this turn of events. We all know who is delighted by the likely outcome next year at the World Heritage Committee meeting which is expected to delete us.
Tracing this situation back I would want to say that the reason we are where we are is completely the result of a political decision by the Planning Committee that agreed the Planning Application submitted by Peel for Liverpool Waters without having taken into consideration the response of UNESO. Other countries and cities first attend to the concerns of UNESCO before passing planning applications. In fact UNESCO wants to see development but request that it be of a certain character which will enhance and protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the WHS property. This decision took place at the start of the former Conservative/LibDem Coalition Government and as the head of Peel Holdings is a big Tory donor it came as no surprise that the Government refused to call in the decision. Another political decision.
Now we are in a situation where UNESCO has made such demands of Liverpool that we are in reality unable to meet most of them. And some of them we shouldn’t meet. However the mood music coming out of the city has been very loud and clear – we don’t care for UNESCO and we don’t value our status. Sadly no-one in the city seems prepared to consider what the impact of losing our status will have on our global reputation. It is like Brexit – we press on regardless.
There are planning projects that have still to come before the Council but they are also hugely controversial for our status – West Waterloo Dock CO2 proposals from Romal Capital and Bramley-Moore Dock Everton FC Stadium due to be submitted by the end of the year. The chair of the Steering Group wants to have one last throw of the dice by seeking a meeting with UNESCO officials in Paris. There are also delays on our part which haven’t been well received e.g. we still haven’t published or considered a Tall Buildings policy, the long awaited Local Plan is still not ready to be accepted by Council, Everton FC proposals are now in the public domain and even UNESCO are aware of them and the heritage issues raised.
We intend becoming a world heritage city not a UNESCO World Heritage Site city. My feeling is that this administration has never for one minute valued what the UNESCO designation meant for the city. Other authorities around us have worked hard to gain what we have and are now throwing away. (Gerry Proctor)
06.06.19: The first hour of the meeting was a strong discussion about the future of the WHS which unfortunately cannot be reported. Issues that have been in the public realm for some time suddenly burst out in the meeting with people on different sides of the argument about what if anything the Steering Group can and should do about the known threats to our UNESCO status. As a way forward following the discussion Everton FC are to be invited to present to the Steering Group at the next meeting. UNESCO is proposing to the WH Committee in Baku at their July 5th meeting that Liverpool should remain at risk and not be deleted this year. It isn’t known as yet who will attend on behalf of Liverpool but apart from 2 council officers named a third person would seem to be someone from the Mayor’s Task Force.
Lesley Woodbridge had coordinated and hosted a visit from one of the UNESCO Ambassadors (Indonesian) though a much larger number had been invited to visit the city. Engage presented two documents to the Steering Group which will be circulated around members:
A Public Engagement person has now been appointed to the Historic England NW Team and Engage would like to work with them and will be making contact. A further presentation was made by Peter Sandman about the INTEREG project MMIAH (the Maritime, Military & Industrial Heritage of the Atlantic Coast).
07.03.19: The new DSOCR has been submitted to the Council and then to UNESCO. It contains a suggestion to explore the boundary of the WHS to both include the Georgian Quarter and also potentially to exclude Bramley Moore Dock! The wording seems to deliberately leave open both expanding and shrinking the site. Merseyside Civic Society want to extend the WHS to Birkenhead and their rep was open to Everton FC’s project being delivered in Bramley Moore Dock. A feasability report is to be prepared for the Council which should involve some civic engagement. If there are minor changes to the OUV of the site then it would be ok but if there are major boundary changes that would involve a re-nomination process. There are 3 paragraphs that give rise to serious concerns. Historic England said clearly that UNESCO and ICOMOS could make a possible negative interpretation of the paragraphs in the document and link them with reports about a proposed Everton Stadium. Again it was noted that there has been progress with UNESCO’s WH Committee but that there would be an increased prospect of deletion in the summer if the Everton Stadium plan comes forward with a boundary modification. There was reported to be mounting concern and apprehension with World Heritage UK about the stadium plans. They stated that should this happen (and all media outlets are reporting that it will happen) then there will be a request for the plans to be called in by the Secretary of State.
There was nothing new to report in item 4 about the setting up of a Task Force. Under item 5 in the agenda there was a discussion about communications and marketing. Peter Sandman was present from the LEP and spoke about the importance of destination marketing. Sue Grindrod spoke about heritage tourism. It was agreed that the RIBA WHS Hub needs promoting. There was a discussion about ROCK funding but no-one seemed to be clear about what it was or what it could be used for. Peter Sandman said the INTEREG project was brilliant and really useful. Liverpool was also UNESCO City of Music which with the UNESCO WHS gave the city an international cultural and heritage reach. Item 6 was about MMIAH (the Maritime, Military & Industrial Heritage of the Atlantic Coast) and a Steering Group has been established with experts and local landowners. Chris Blandford Associates have been appointed to work with the project. We were also informed that the Council had appointed consultants to deliver a proposed Tall Buildings Policy as requested by UNESCO. You can find out more about it HERE from the Building website (16.01.19). Item 8 of the agenda was about the WHS Action Plan and the need to review where it is up to. Engage is named in a number of the Actions and will report to the next meeting of the Steering Group on the actions it has taken. A new website is to be launched for the WHS and a preview was shared with members who were asked for their comments. Engage shared it with our Board who made comments and suggestions.
06.12.18: A very good attendance today including Henry Owen-John and Catherine Dewar from Historic England. We were informed that the consultants appointed by the Council to develop the Local Plan heritage section were Urban Initiatives with Chris Blandford Associates. The progress of the World Heritage Trust now lies with the Mayor’s Task Force to take the ideas forward. A report will then go to Cabinet who will then commission a period of work to design the Trust.
The proposal for a new Everton FC Stadium at Bramley Moore Dock was raised by the Chair and clarification was offered by Historic England re-stating what I think we already knew that should the proposal come forward then there would be no question of Liverpool maintaining it’s status as a WHS. This proposal doesn’t appear in the DSOCR that the WHC was presented with in 2018 and therefore it is unable to take an official position until such time as it is formally presented. However the guidelines are clear in the WHS Supplementary Planning Document from October 2009 especially section 4:7 pages 63-65. But this hasn’t stopped the process by Everton, Peel and the City Council. Historic England were clear that if the Stadium is proposed it will inevitably lead to deletion. They stated that there were good policies designed to protect the WHS and heritage in general in the UK but these look like they will not be followed through with other policies being allowed to trump them. There was some concern expressed that in the present public consultation process by Everton the impression given was that UNESCO is on board and now the only question relates to design and mitigation. This is not the case. The same comment was made about the impression given by the publicity that Historic England were also on board and that was not the case. The DCMS who were listening in to the conversation stated that UNESCO cannot see the proposal being compatible at this stage.
The Chair stated it was a nice challenge to have and that though Liverpool doesn’t want to lose its status it must grow its economy. It was stated that Everton were passionate about this proposal and there were no other sites available and this would be a determining factor. The Engage representative on the Steering Group (Gerry Proctor) asked the question about who was able to protect the UNESCO status of the City and it was made clear that it was not the role of the WHS Steering Group to do that given that there never would be agreement due to the presence on the Steering Group of Peel and the Council and others who were pursuing the Stadium proposals. It was the legitimate role of Civil Society to press the case for defending the UNESCO WHS status. It was stated again by some members that it doesn’t matter what decision will be made by UNESCO as this group will still have a job to look at the overall strategy and direction of heritage promotion in the city. One member stated that ‘If we lose the status we still have a heritage tourism strategy’.
06.09.18: Today’s meeting was rather brief due to the fact that a number of members were unable to be present. We welcomed the new Director of NML Laura Pye who brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the city and she is also about to become a resident of the waterfront which is wonderful. The meeting was chaired by Lesley Woodbridge in the absence of Mark Kitts (chair) and Matt Brook (vice-chair). Only 8 people were in attendance out of a possible 19 or so.
Susanne Jamieson who runs the Horizon 20/20 ROCK project for the Council spoke at length about her work and invited people to collaborate. Otherwise the rest of the meeting was really hearing updates about the DSOCR and the UNESCO requirements for the next Committee meeting in 2019. There was little that could be reported on and no information on a number of agenda items including the Mayor’s Task Force etc. Engage spoke about the forthcoming seminar series and the development of the Urbingo project.
The only item that seems worth commenting on was the small matter of the review of the WHS boundary. Nothing decided but a review has been ordered (no details were forthcoming) into expanding it into the Georgian Quarter and reducing it in parts of Liverpool Waters. Also the skyline and tall buildings policy was mentioned but nothing of interest actually shared. The meeting was concluded in an hour.
07.06.18: RIBA seems to have become the home now of the Steering Group which is most welcome. The meeting was short and sweet with a focus on deciding what steps will be taken to start using communications and marketing to promote the WHS. It was stated that nothing had really happened so far as there was no one place to which people could be directed – until now with the RIBA offering to host the WHS. Discussions about wayfinding, road signs, pop-up banners etc. It was said that there were no effective measurements of economic data for the WHS and that the University was now undertaking some work in this regard. However there are studies from other WHS in this country and abroad. There was no visibility of the WHS status in any of the entry-points into the city: station, airport, cruise-liner terminal, coach park etc. This ought to be addressed. Engage got the impression that now that the Mayors Task Force has reported officers feel a little freer to begin working on the WHS.
The Desired State of Conservation Report (DSoCR) was discussed and some updates given. Bahrain was mentioned and stated that Peter Jones from Planning will be attending as will Lesley Woodbridge from Regeneration who is the WHS Manager and Cllr Alice Bennett who is responsible for Heritage. Engage will also be attending thanks to a crowd-funding exercise.
08.03.18: Met at RIBA North and was chaired by Mark Kitts. He gave a full account of the Desired State of Conservation Report to UNESCO which was warmly welcomed by everyone around the table. Henry Owen-John from Historic England explained a little more about the document and the process. While it was made clear we couldn’t really discuss the proposed Everton FC Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock because no planning application had been received it was stated that seen from the perspective of the World Heritage Committee the whole project was extremely sensitive.
Dr David Henshaw from the Mayor’s Task Force spoke at length about his work which was well received and clearly had done a lot of work. His group was aiming for the city to remain on the At Risk List whilst it proved to UNESCO that it’s plans and promises would be fulfilled. Visits were being scheduled for Paris with UNESCO and also inviting World Heritage Committee members to come to Liverpool. Prof Ian Wray suggested that we should establish a UNESCO Research Fellow at the University and again it was welcomed. There was some research being undertaken by the University of Liverpool into the economic impact of WHS status on the city.
It was a good meeting though the impression I was left with was that the really important work was going on elsewhere not influenced at all by this Steering Group and a proposal has been made in the DSOCR that we should establish a new group – a World Heritage Trust. But a lot is being done now to preserve the status and that is most welcome. I am quietly confident it will be sufficient to save our status for another year.
More information can be found HERE
23.11.17: Met at RIBA North and was chaired by Matt Brook. We were informed that the Mayor’s Task Force had met twice so far and had one further meeting planned for December. Engage was thanked for the seminar series and many commented on how good they had been. There was general confusion and some frustration about the failure of the Steering Group to actually deliver what everyone felt was required. The contrast with Edinburgh was remarked upon. Issues that must be addressed are: communications strategy and a budget for marketing and campaigning. Some members felt that if UNESCO withdrew our listing they would want to continue as the city was a world heritage city regardless of UNESCO. That was not the position of Engage.
05.09.17: Mark Kitts again chaired the meeting which was held at the new RIBA North centre in Mann Island. It was well attended and began with the 1st item on the agenda an update on the UNESCO WHC meeting in Krakow in July. Henry Owen-John from Historic England in London, who was at the Krakow meeting with Keith Nichol from DCMS, presnted a report on the decision to exclude Liverpool in 2018. Also present at the Polish meeting was Cllr Kennedy as Lord Mayor, Lesley Woodbridge the WHS Officer and Peter Jones from the Planning Department at LCC. The Chair of Engage was also present and was invited to speak to the Committee. (Full report was published HERE on 15th July 2017).
It was made clear that unless there was some significant progress in resolving the outstanding issues around the Liverpool Waters site and the planning decision of the City Council then Liverpool would be removed in July 2018 at the next WHC meeting. Enid Williams from DCMS was present with Henry Owen-John and spoke also about the reality in which Liverpool found itself. Some people on the Steering Group were angry and blamed the Government for not calling in the Liverpool Waters scheme when it went before the Planning Committee. It was later clarified that if no resolution could be found it is likely that the Minister would ask for Liverpool to be withdrawn from the UNESCO Listing rather than wait for it to be removed. This was referred to by some members of the Steering Group as ‘sacrificing’ Liverpool for the sake of the other UK World Heritage Sites that might well come under further scrutiny if the UK Government (the State Party) is criticised for not having sufficient planning regulations to be able to address these problems.
It has to be said that everyone has worked hard for the last 5 years to address the issue in a number of DSOCR (Desired State Of Conservation Report) but it hasn’t been enough for UNESCO. Now we have to find a new ‘single narrative’ that will significantly change the DSOCR. The DCMS said clearly that were keen to broker a new single narrative. But no progress seems to be possible at this stage and the deadline for a new agreement is December.
Engage represents all residents in the WHS and on their behalf has arranged a seminar series entitled ‘Liverpool UNESCO World Heritage Site: A Status Worth Fighting For?‘ from October inviting top UNESCO officials to come to Liverpool in the hope that we can influence them to think differently about Liverpool. Engage has also developed a new game to connect WHS residents, citizens, tourists and young people with the buildings and neighbourhoods of the WHS called ‘Urbingo’.
It seems to Engage that the only way for Liverpool’s WHS status to be saved is for the Government via the DCMS and the Heritage Minister John Glenn MP to call together Peel and Mayor Joe Anderson to see if they are willing to make any concession to save the Listing. However we suspect that the Minister will only get involved if there is some prospect of movement and others lower down will need to explore that possibility. I doesn’t seem that anyone is about to do that. Engage cannot influence that process so we will try to bring some influence to bear on UNESCO during our seminar series to see if there is any possibility of movement on their part.
The meeting then continued with the agenda items which contained an excellent presentation by Mark Kitts about delivering the WHS Management Plan. Engage then presented about the seminars and Urbingo. That was followed by an update on Key Development Sites by Samantha Campbell. The next meeting will be on 23rd November 2017 at 2.00pm.
25.05.17: Mark Kitts chaired the meeting which was well attended. Much of the first part of the meeting was spent discussing the recently published World Heritage Site Management Plan 2017-2024 : click to read document. The Action Plan (section 12, page 63 – 72) was widely shared and Engage has a number of actions it needs to deliver. If anyone wants to become part of the delivery of those commitments please get in touch: email@example.com. During a lengthy discussion Catherine Dewar from Historic England stated that ‘Dialogue was the only way forward’ with regard to improving relationships with ICOMOS and UNESCO. That is exactly what Engage believes and underpins all we’re doing with our WHS Seminar Series this year. DCMS has agreed that Mark Kitts will attend the World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow in July along with Government officials to represent Liverpool.
We heard reports from the RIBA North centre and the heritage layer that will be a part of the city digital model. Suzanne Jamieson spoke about the Horizon 20/20 Project and you can read more about it in this article from BDonline. We were given information about a WHS Symposium on June 28th organised by the University of Liverpool on behalf of the City Council and held on the premises of NML.
Engage gave a full report of our WHS Urbingo Project in July and August and also our WHS Seminar Series in October/November. Members were very supportive of our efforts and some asked to be involved in making them a greater success. The next meeting will be on 24th August.
23.02.17: Chaired by Mark Kitts the poorly attended meeting (it was held on the day of Storm Doris at 2pm on the Pier Head in the Cunard Building) received a presentation from Sarah McLeod CEO of Derwent Valley Mills WHS (see article in News) about a proposed industrial WHS festival in 2020. LCC announced that they expected the WHS website to be launched soon and requested help to populate the site. All reports required by UNESCO have been prepared and submitted and are available on line but we haven’t been able to locate them and link to them here. They are the Desired State of Conservation Report and the State of Conservation Report.
It was readily agreed that LCC would facilitate a consultation meeting with regard to the Draft WHS Management Plan. Engage will cooperate and publicise this event once a date, time and location are agreed. An update on the Horizon 20/20 ROCK Programme was given by Suzanne Jameson from the LCC Culture Company. This is the largest heritage project in Europe and Liverpool is really fortunate to be a part of this. There was notification of World Heritage Week in April (WH Day is 18th April) which will be celebrated at St George’s Hall. And also the Heritage Open Days in September were discussed in the light of their significance in the Draft Management Plan and their failure to appear in 2016.
28.11.16: Chaired by Mark Kitts the meeting discussed the problems it was facing and some members expressed a desire to see things improved. It seemed as if that might be more possible now than it has for a long time. There appears to be a barrier within the council against WHS status that is holding everything back. Some members felt it was a political problem. There could be a re-launch of the Steering Group which would be welcomed by everyone. Engage shared that the 2017 seminar series would focus on WHS status. It was well received by everyone.
23.09.16: See below two letters published today about the threat to UNESCO WHS status:
01.09.16: The WHS Steering Group has no chair and Mark Kitts from LCC Regeneration Dept, stepped in temporarily. It wasn’t acceptable to a number of members for the Vice Chair to take over for an interim period. The Group had some serious sharings about the current state of affairs of the Group as well as the status of WHS within the city. Engage showed the Group an article from the Business section of the Echo on 19th July written by Tony McDonough in which he called for the city to get rid of UNESCO and WHS status. This wasn’t challenged by anyone from the Steering Group or by anyone within the City Council (officer or politician). Henry Owen-John from Historic England spoke about the reality of the UNESCO committee and the generally negative view they have of Liverpool. LCC have put out to tender their response to the Desired State of Conservation Report which will be prepared by Rob Burns and will be ready for the 1st December deadline. The Group heard a presentation given by Adam Partington (Locus Consulting) and Anna Badcock (ArcHeritage). Engage had the opportunity to mention again the value of Neighbourhood Planning for the whole of the Waterfront when members spoke about having a body that delivers a vision for the whole of the Waterfront. Next meeting 30th November 2016.
01.03.16: The WHS Steering Group has been trying for some time to challenge UNESCO with regard to their putting Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City on their ‘At Risk’ register. In support of the city the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has responded to the State of Conservation Report by UNESCO and their response is below:
DCMS Response to UNESCO 29.01.16
All documents about the Liverpool WHS can be found on the UNESCO website HERE
The group though annoyed about the UNESCO Report decided to attempt to build better working relationships with the World Heritage Site team at UNESCO. The recent visit by a team from Bordeaux WHS had been well received and many lessons learnt. A return visit to France was being planned for the spring. A Liverpool WHS Forum gathering was again on the cards for later in the summer perhaps with a speaker from the Cornwall WHS team.
The next meeting is on 21.04.16.