Regeneration work in Liverpool – fresh from its 2008 Capital of Culture triumph – receives another boost this week, with the appointment of Urban Initiatives to handle the St James Gateway masterplan.
Wayfinding signage and street furniture commissions are expected to follow the approval of the public realm strategy in around two months’ time, says Urban Initiatives director Kelvin Campbell, who has worked with Pentagram, PSD Fitch and Woodhouse.
The St James Gateway area near Park Road, is ‘very rundown and industrial’, says Campbell, but is close to The Ropewalks, a putative cultural quarter he describes as Liverpool’s ’emerging Soho’.
Much of the regeneration will involve high-density housing, but the central feature is a mixed-use urban square linked to the reopening of the local rail station. The scheme will also attempt to create a ‘boulevard feel’ for the Strand/ Parliament Street ‘corridor’.
Designing a distinctive image for the area is crucial, as the St James Gateway is one of the main southern access points to the city and close to docks, Campbell says.
Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Vision, along with English Partnerships, sponsor the project.