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Mobile workshops

These offer the opportunity for delegates to experience first hand some of the changes and challenges facing the city, including for example; Merseyside Regional Waterfront Park; managing Liverpool¿s World Heritage Site; engaging local communities in environmental improvements; Groundwork Merseyside; city centre redevelopments; Anfield regeneration; Housing Market Renewal Initiative, etc.


Community led regeneration - New Eldonians


Visit to Plus Dane Group and INclude Neighbourhood Regeneration Limited in Liverpool 8


Regenerating Neighbourhoods - Neighbourhood Pride and Groundwork Merseyside


New Heartlands Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder: Wirral Tour


The Economic Regeneration of St Helens


Anfield Regeneration


Reconnecting the waterfront with the city centre: 


Speke Garston - Economic regeneration and social exclusion


Managing Liverpool's world heritage site


Port Sunlight - Lord Lever's model village


Regeneration and heritage planning in Chester


Managing and developing Merseyside's urban fringe


Managing Merseyside's coastal assets


The revitalisation of Ropewalks


Royal Seaforth Container Terminal, Post-Panamax Terminal and the SuperPort

Further details of the workshops are as follows:

1.   Community led regeneration - New Eldonians

A coach to The Eldonian Village Hall, Vauxhall, followed by walking tour of Eldonian Village to view key projects / sites developed - max number 45

This visit charts the remarkable story of how ‘the Eldonians’ – a group of individuals who were threatened with the demolition of their homes and dispersal across the city of Liverpool in the early 1980s - created a redevelopment strategy that has become renowned as an example of sustainable best practice in community-led regeneration.

The Eldonian village covers the Vauxhall neighbourhood in the north docks area of Liverpool, which was an area suffering from extreme dereliction and pollution. Since the first activities were taken forward in 1976 the area has been transformed and has won major awards for regeneration over the last 25 years, including the World Habitat Award in 2004.

The village itself has emerged from a master-plan for a ‘Self Regenerating Community’ through two distinct phases of development. The first involved the creation of 145 houses and bungalows on the former Tate and Lyle sugar refinery site which closed in 1981 with the loss of 1,700 jobs. It was targeted on individuals living in the condemned council tenements in the area. £6.6 million of government grants were secured to facilitate development and resulted in accommodation being owned and managed within the community. The second phase involved building another 150 homes around the Leeds / Liverpool canal running through the area (also regenerated) as a consequence of securing the rest of the Tate and Lyle site and as a result of a £5.5 million grant from the Housing Corporation and a £1.5 million loan from the Cooperative Bank.

In addition, an office complex for local staff (The Tony McGann Centre), a village hall, a nursery, a sports centre, a residential care home and an extra-care sheltered home have all been completed and which are locally managed. Current proposals also include plans for developing apartments and housing to attract new young homeowners into the area, as well as a £90 million joint private-sector scheme to provide new shops, leisure facilities, offices, bars and restaurants in close proximity to the village.

The study visit will focus on a number of these developments, including: 1) a Community Trust which is a registered charity run by elected local people directing all elements of the organization and with a focus on education, leisure and recreation facilities and residential accommodation for the elderly; 2) The Eldonian Group – a Development Trust which manages and delivers a range of projects on behalf of the Trust; and 3) a Community Based Housing Association (CBHA) which in its role as a social landlord seeks to provide affordable social housing, elderly care facilities and management for leaseholders who have bought apartments in the city centre.

2.   Visit to Plus Dane Group and INclude Neighbourhood Regeneration Limited in Liverpool 8

Coach to various points around the Liverpool 8 neighbourhood where there will be opportunity to view particular examples of neighbourhood management activity - max number 45

INclude is a neighbourhood regeneration company that operates in the Dingle area of Liverpool 8 – a deprived inner city district immediately south of the City Centre and east of the River Mersey. It was formed in March 2001 as a partnership between the local authority and a registered social landlord with the most property in the area.

Its aim was to bring together residents, community groups, landlords, the Council, and other stakeholders to revive the local economy, provide leadership, and strive for effective partnership working. Initial wide ranging community consultation was carried out in the form of a housing and environmental study.

As a result, a series of services were launched to tackle these issues such as ‘Include Environmental’, ‘Include Safer Neighbourhoods’ and ‘Include Young Voices’, together with the development of the ‘Include Centre for Neighbourhood Management’ and a community engagement programme for the area. The area was also broken down into 13 smaller neighbourhoods to enable the development of effective regeneration and neighbourhood management services. In consultation with residents, local plans have been produced for each neighbourhood.

The study visit will therefore focus on these various initiatives and will place a particular emphasis upon:

-          The historical context of the neighbourhood
-          The ‘Include’ model of neighbourhood management
-          Barriers, challenges and achievements
-          Sustainability and replication of the model

The overall aim is to identify particular elements of relevance to effective neighbourhood management, and how such activities can be made sustainable in the longer term.

3.   Regenerating Neighbourhoods - Neighbourhood Pride and Groundwork Merseyside

A coach tour - max number 45

To take delegates through a process of understanding how Groundwork works within deprived communities, articulate the potential benefits and express some real examples for them to see where vision has resulted in action. The focus will be on ‘Neighbourhood Pride’,  Groundwork Merseyside’s successful community development programme for Halton.

Project Detail

Groundwork Merseyside’s Neighbourhood Pride Initiative (NPI) is a tried and tested way of ensuring meaningful and sustainable social and environmental regeneration in deprived areas.

NPI has successfully demonstrated that, given the right support, communities can play an active part in transforming their neighbourhood, making it safer, stronger and more cohesive. At the same time it has encouraged people to take pride in where they live and become more active citizens.

Neighbourhood Pride has been managed and delivered by Groundwork since 2003 in the neighbourhoods of Kingsway and Stewards Avenue in Widnes and Dukesfield in Runcorn. Groundwork has been able to complement NRF funding (£270k over 5 years) by securing in excess of £950k of additional investment into these communities. In real terms, this means that there is approximately £4 returned for every £1 invested by partners.

NPI takes a focused, hands-on approach to community development that gives residents a stake in the future of their neighbourhood. The initiative is genuinely community-led with residents influencing and determining what type of activities are delivered and where. It uses practical environmental action as a way of delivering improved social and economic prospects.

Key outputs and outcomes

Groundwork’s experienced and dedicated team of community development workers, landscape architects and youth workers have been able to achieve:

-  1020 adults actively involved in neighbourhood projects

-  660 young people actively involved in neighbourhood projects

-  20,000m2 derelict, underused and neglected land brought back into use

-  £600,000 has been spent on capital projects to improve community facilities

-  50%* of residents now feel less concerned about vandalism, graffiti and damage to property

-  In 2005 47%* of residents felt their neighbourhood had got better compared to 15% in 2003(Source: CLES, 2005)

4.   New Heartlands Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder: Wirral

A coach tour - max number 18

New Heartlands (Merseyside) Housing Market Renewal (HMR) Pathfinder was established by the UK Government in 2002 to transform neighbourhoods characterised by acute deprivation and housing vacancy and abandonment. NewHeartlands is a 15 year programme and covers Inner Liverpool, south Sefton and the eastern part of Wirral.

To date New Heartlands has been able to refurbish 6793 homes, build 2117 new houses and apartments and clear 2086 older properties across the pathfinder area. Over the next 10 years, NewHeartlands aims to build on this progress and will:

  • Build 23,000 thousand modern, well-designed new homes.
  • Refurbish 63,000 existing homes.
  • Demolish 10,500 derelict, poor quality or outdated properties in unpopular areas.
  • Improve areas of open green space, neighbourhood street lighting, roads and community safety.
  • Help to create jobs, reduce crime and improve neighbourhood prosperity and attractiveness.

The HMR programme will also support economic growth, combat areas of decline, encourage a sense of community and create new opportunities for residents.

The Workshop will provide an overview of New Heartlands work in the Wirral part of the pathfinder. It will focus on housing market interventions in Tranmere and Rock Ferry. The Workshop will then travel to Birkenhead to see areas programmed for future intervention and will also visit the North Birkenhead docks, location of the proposed Wirral Waters development which was designated as a New Growth Point by Government in 2008.

The Workshop will be led by a Policy Officer and a Marketing and Communications Manager from the New Heartlands Core Team, who has detailed experience of working in the Wirral part of New Heartlands, and the Wirral HMR Development Manager who will describe the interventions in detail. The objective of the Workshop will be to gain an overview of New Heartlands’ work in creating sustainable communities (including marketing of place) and to see details of new housing and other interventions “on the ground”. Information packs and maps of the tour route will be provided as will a commentary on the tour bus and the opportunity to ask questions of the Workshop team.

5.   The Economic Regeneration of St Helens

A coach tour - max number 45

One time cradle of the industrial revolution, St.Helens has undergone a radical, positive post-industrial transformation in recent years. This is being delivered within the context of  the City Growth Strategy, a private sector led regeneration model imported from the US and for which St.Helens was selected as one of only 4 UK pilot areas in 2002.  A revised 10-year Strategy has just been launched only 5 years after the original, highlighting the pace and scale of success (see 

St.Helens Council has recently won two prestigious Beacon Council awards – a national quality mark designating excellence – for “Raising Economic Prosperity through Partnership” and “Building Homes for the Future”.  The Council’s Planning Service has also received national recognition (Planning Advisory Service, Royal Town Planning Institute, national e-Government awards), in particular for its online service.

Workshop Description
  •  An initial 45minute overview of the regeneration of St.Helens and associated challenges, successes and methods, with an emphasis on the role of the planning regime and innovative solutions.  This will take place in the World of Glass visitor centre (previously England’s Best Small Visitor Attraction) and refreshments will be provided.
  •  Followed by a 1 hour 45 minute tour of notable sites/projects on and around the St.Helens Linkway – the primary corridor for recent major employment and housing developments, and which provides rapid transit between St.Helens town centre and the arterial M62 motorway.  The tour will conclude with a visit to “Dream” a landmark new internationally significant high public artwork by Jaume Plensa sited atop a former colliery spoil heap and unveiled in May 2009.

6.   Anfield Regeneration

A coach tour - max number 45

North Liverpool is one of the most socially and economically deprived areas in the UK. This tour will highlight the problems of housing market abandonment in an area dominated by thousands of 19th century terraced houses and the resultant comprehensive restructuring of the housing market in Liverpool's inner core.

The Anfield/Breckfield Renewal Area consists of approximately 5000 properties in 11 sub-neighbourhoods. The majority of the neighbourhoods are to be improved and refurbished, but some neighbourhoods in the V Streets, Granton Plus, Salisbury and East Sleepers Hill are to be demolished. Some 1800 properties are expected to be demolished, to be replaced by 1300 new quality homes.

Close by two football clubs of Liverpool and Everton are currently separated by Stanley Park, one of the original municipal parks laid out in the 19th century. Both clubs are in the process of trying to develop new stadia, with Liverpool pursuing an option within Stanley Park. This refurbishment of Stanley Park, the building of a new stadium and mixed use development at Anfield Plaza (the old stadium site) is intended to help in the regeneration of the Anfield/Breckfield area. This tour explores some of these issues in more depth.     

7.   Reconnecting the waterfront with the city centre - from the Paradise Project to Liverpool 1

A walking tour - max number 45

For many years the Liverpool waterfront, despite its iconic buildings and the 1980s regeneration of the Albert Dock was somewhat disconnected from the city centre. The Strand a major dual lane road severed the waterfront from the city centre, and pedestrian routes from the retail core of the city to the waterfront suffered from poor legibility, permeability and public realm quality. 

 During the late 1990s and 2000s, Liverpool’s city centre attracted unprecedented new levels of inward investment. In and around the centre, major new developments have risen out of the ground and the city centre and the waterfront have been transformed. The waterfront has seen new developments like the Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre, the ‘Mann Island’ residential and commercial development, a new £33 million Museum of Liverpool, a new cruise liner facility, and a British Waterways led project which has reconfigured the ‘Pier Head’ public space, as part of an ambitious plan which has extended the Leeds Liverpool canal into the Albert Dock. 

The key development which has sought to bridge the gap between the city’s traditional retail core and the waterfront is the £920 million ‘Liverpool 1’ retail led regeneration scheme which covers a 17 hectare site. This major development project, which opened in 2008, reconnects the city’s retail core with the waterfront. New open spaces guide people between the city centre and the waterfront. In many of the developments which form part of Liverpool 1, great emphasis has also been placed on high quality urban design and a high quality public realm, which it is hoped will ensure that the new open spaces that have been created will help to play a sustained role in the regeneration of Liverpool. 

The workshop will take-in the improvements to the public realm and the new developments which have been completed as part of the Liverpool 1 development, and consider the links which have been re-established with the waterfront as a result of its completion.

8.   Speke Garston- Economic regeneration and social exclusion

A coach tour - max number 45

The area of Speke Garston is located to the south of Liverpool city centre, has a population of 18,698 people and covers a total of 1,223 hectares of land. It has traditionally been the manufacturing powerhouse of the city but began to suffer decline from the 1970’s onwards with a number of big employers within the area either relocating or closing down, notably Triumph, Metal Box and Dunlop to name but a few.

Speke-Garston Development Company was set up in 1996 with around £14.5m of Objective One money to attract investment, create jobs and regenerate the key sites within Speke-Garston. The Speke-Garston Partnership was set up in 1995 with £17.53m of Single Regeneration Budget funds with the purpose of tackling the softer regeneration issues for the benefit of the communities of the area. South Liverpool Housing were set up in 1999 to spearhead a £100m improvement and repairs programme in the 4,000 homes under their control following their transfer from Liverpool City Council.  However, following this significant investment the area Speke Garston remains an area where a severe cycle of joblessness and deprivation results in unemployment reaching second and even third generations.

The workshop will begin with a brief presentation setting out the context of the area in terms of its place within the wider economy of the Liverpool City region and look at some of the socio-economic issues that blighted the area, followed by a site visit.

9.   Managing Liverpool's world heritage site

A walking tour - max number 45

Liverpool City Centre Public Realm and UNESCO World Heritage Site

Liverpool has a unique inheritance of architectural treasures and public spaces, many stemming from the wealth and civic pride associated with the city’s period of greatness as, after London, the nation’s and the British Empire’s leading port.  This is reflected in the city having more listed buildings than any other city outside London and was celebrated in the inscription in 2004 of a substantial part of the waterfront and cultural quarter of the city as a UNESCO World Heritage Site - Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City. 

This walking excursion will enable an impression to be gained of the heritage features of the area that prompted this recognition, starting from the Heritage Centre at St George’s Hall, noted as ‘the greatest classical monument of the 19th century’.  The excursion will include a presentation on the World Heritage Site and a walk through the cultural quarter around St George’s Hall and through part of the traditional commercial quarter, to be concluded at Pier Head, location of the grouping of three buildings that characterise the waterfront – the ‘three graces’. The way that the integrity of the World Heritage Site is being maintained within the context of rapid city centre development will also be explored.

10.   Port Sunlight -Lord Lever's model village

A coach tour - max number 45, some walking involved

The “Most Ambitious Instances of Nineteenth Century Town Planning in Britain”: Birkenhead and Port Sunlight

The sudden rise of Birkenhead as a new city, situated across the River Mersey from Liverpool, was regarded as ‘one of the wonders of the age’ by Chambers’ Edinburgh Journal (1845).  Its mile-long linear grid street plan, leading from the grandeur of Hamilton Square has been described as one of the most American plans in Britain. Fifty years later the construction of the industrialist W. H. Lever’s model industrial settlement at Port Sunlight some miles up the river at Port Sunlight provided a demonstration of the change from the late Georgian urbanity proposed for Birkenhead to a new environmental combination of curvilinear roads and a beaux arts formality set in an open landscape

We will begin with a short walk in Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, now a designated conservation area which has received funding for building rehabilitation and new uses reflecting its vulnerability on the edge of the present day shopping centre and a predominance of small office users.  After that we will travel to Port Sunlight for a somewhat longer walk though a cross section of the earliest phase of planning and development, viewing the exotic range of architectural styles chosen for the late nineteenth and early twentieth century housing, the use of the vacant land of the superblocks and wide range of community buildings, to the formal axial road terminating in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, where there will be an opportunity to visit the Gallery or the new interpretation centre. 

11.   Regeneration and heritage planning in Chester

A coach and walking tour - max number 45

Heritage and City Renewal: Can the past continue to sustain the future?

From a depressed and rundown City in the 1960s, and the subject of one of the UK’s first major heritage and conservation studies in 1968, Chester has capitalised on its heritage to lead a visitor, commercial and urban revival. Now it faces new challenges, recession, falling visitors and more competition amongst heritage cities – and has set out on a new ‘Chester Renaissance’ strategy, looking to diversify and renew its attractions and economy once again.

The Workshop will look at the underlying issues of maintaining and enhancing the Cities heritage, renewing its economic base and the new approach the City hopes to take. It will include a walking tour of the city centre, and some of the major projects proposed for the Cities Renaissance – as well as the outcomes of the many pan-european projects the City has been involved with. A Coach tour will look at the City’s Business Park and Zoo developments.

12.   Managing and developing Merseyside's urban fringe

A coach tour - max number 45

The community forestry programme is a 30 year initiative designed to deliver a comprehensive package of urban, economic and social regeneration, creating high-quality environments for millions of people by revitalising derelict land in and around our major urban centres, providing new opportunities for leisure, recreation, and cultural activities, enhancing biodiversity, preparing for climate change and supporting education, healthy living and social and economic development. Each Community Forest is a partnership between local authorities and local, regional and national partners including the Forestry Commission and Natural England. The Mersey Forest is a growing network of woodlands and green spaces spread across Cheshire and Merseyside, which has been creating 'woodlands on your doorstep' since 1994. 

Praised as a "visionary concept", Mersey Forest's approach brings a whole range of environmental,health and economic benefits to the region.

The mobile workshop will look at particular issues related to delivery of the long term Forest Plan through planning, focusing on work in St Helens, where sustained action and policy development has led to a transformation of the landscape and the branding of the areas as the "Town in the Forest"

13.   Managing Merseyside's coastal assets

A coach tour - max number 45

Sustainable development in action? – Meeting the varied planning challenges of the Sefton Coast

To the North of Liverpool city centre lie the sand dunes, beaches and marshes of the Sefton Coast which is recognised as one of the most important areas for nature conservation in Europe. The Sefton Coast is also an important visitor destination with popular bathing beaches, open countryside, and the seaside resort of Southport.

At the same time it is home to the most active part of the Port of Liverpool which dominates Britain's container trade with North America and serves more than 100 other non-EU destinations from China to India, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and South America. Reconciling the often competing economic, social and environmental interests along the Sefton coast is a major challenge for planners and others in the area.

Since 1978 the local authority, government agencies, landowners and community groups have worked closely together to promote the sustainable management of the coastal zone through the activities of the Sefton Coast Partnership. This visit provides an insight into their work and the debates surrounding recent developments such as the proposed new £100 million in-river berth capable of taking the world’s largest container vessels, the iconic Anthony Gormley statues at Crosby and resort regeneration initiatives in Southport including the restoration of Britain’s second longest pier and public realm improvements along the elegant Victorian shopping street of Lord Street.

14.   The revitalisation of Ropewalks

A walking tour - max number 45

Since the mid-1990s the ‘Rope Walks’ area of Liverpool City centre has been the focus of concerted redevelopment and planning.  The area is a densely built-up zone that originally developed to serve the original Liverpool wet-dock, which was located at the north western edge of the area.

The name by which the area is now known reflects the rope-making activity which took place in it during Liverpool’s heyday as a global port. The historical urban fabric of the area reflects its past role in the city and it contains 96 listed buildings, is within a Conservation Area and partly within the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site.  

The renewal of the area has been led by a focus on improving the public realm. An Integrated Action Plan (IAP) was developed for the area and a programme of public works ran from 1999 until 2004. Today it is possible to see the outcomes of this in many of the streetscapes and public spaces within the area.

The area has also witnessed investment from the private sector and an increase in its resident population since the later 1990s. The multidisciplinary architecture and planning practice ‘Build and Design Partnership’ (BDP) has had a long-involvement in the renewal of the area and opened a new regional office in the new St. Peter’s Square.   

The workshop will take-in the improvements to the public realm and the new developments in the area, as well as covering some of the new and programmed developments and remaining challenges the area faces in becoming a sustainable inner urban territory.

For further information on the area see:

15.   Royal Seaforth Container Terminal, Post-Panamax Terminal and the SuperPort

A coach tour - max number 45

Today the Port of Liverpool has a higher throughput than ever of over 30m tonnes.  Much of this passes through the Royal Seaforth Container Terminal which enables Liverpool to be ranked among Britain and northern Europe’s major container ports, handling nearly 700k TEUs (20 foot container units) a year. Liverpool is building a second container terminal in the River Mersey at a cost of £100 million and able to simultaneously accommodate two of the new generation post-Panamax container ships.  The new facility, capable of handling 500k teus a year, will almost double Liverpool's container capacity to nearly 1.5m teus.  The Port of Liverpool, the Manchester Ship Canal, Liverpool John Lennon Airport are now under the ownership of Peel Holdings.  Plans are in hand to coordinate the operation of these facilities with the Stobart Group’s Mersey Multimodal Gateway (3MG) in the development of SuperPort.

This coach-based visit will enable the operation of the container terminal to be seen at first hand and to hear about the ambitious plans for the expansion of the role of Liverpool as a major world international gateway.


Liverpool One