Plans that could transform Liverpool’s waterfront

Liverpool’s skyline could be drastically transformed over the coming years, with developments due to take place along significant stretches of the waterfront.

Larger scale changes, such as Everton’s new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, could lead to wider changes on north Liverpool’s waterfront, but new housing, hotels and public spaces could lead to improvements elsewhere.

The waterfront was long the centre of the city’s economic life but industrial decline during the 20th century meant focus shifted elsewhere.

Much of Liverpool’s historic docklands and the area around them has struggled to find a use since then.

However, development in recent decades has brought many areas of the waterfront back to its former glory – and future plans could see even more changes.

Here are some of the biggest plans that could further transform Liverpool’s waterfront in the coming years.

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Bramley Moore Dock



Artist’s impression of Everton’s Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium.

By far the largest construction scheme set to take place in the city, the scale of Everton’s new stadium project is huge.

The stadium, set to seat just under 53,000 people, will see Bramley Moore Dock become the home to the Blues’ £500m new home.

As well as the state of the art new stadium, the project will bring a range of new facilities to the area around it.

However, Everton is also set to spend £55m on protecting and restoring existing historic buildings on the site.

That includes the dock wall, dock gates and the hydraulic tower which sits on the edge of the site.

Fans and members of the public will also benefit from viewing areas to look out across the Mersey as well as better access to other historic docks surrounding the site.

Construction on the stadium is set to begin this year.

Other plans around Bramley Moore Dock



Everton's plans for Bramley Moore Dock are likely to have an impact outside of the main site itself. Pic by Colin Lane.
Everton’s plans for Bramley Moore Dock are likely to have an impact outside of the main site itself. Pic by Colin Lane.

While the stadium itself is set to be transformative on its own, Bramley Moore Dock is likely to have a profound impact on the area around it.

The arrival of Everton to the waterfront is likely to mean an increase in the number of hotels, shops and other amenities springing up to take advantage in the increase in footfall.

In fact, there have already been applications for new facilities close to the stadium.

The city’s planning committee will meet next week to discuss proposals from ZWY Lettings to convert 66 Regent Road into a nine-bedroom boutique hotel.

Those plans, potentially the first of many, could see an empty warehouse building just metres from the edge of the Bramley Moore Dock site brought back into use.

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New homes on the site of an iconic dockers’ cafe

Slightly further south of Bramley Moore Dock, a new housing block could transform another historic site.

Waterloo Rd Ltd’s proposals for a 16 storey block of 135 apartments on Kirkdale’s Waterloo Road, more commonly known as the Dock Road, were approved by the council earlier this month.

The development would be partly built on the site that housed Frank’s Cafe. Long a feature of the Dock Road, Frank’s served workers for 50 years before closing in 1999. Its owner, Frank Smith, died in 2016.

Architect Jonathon Pritchard told the council’s planning committee that the new building would take into account the “traditions and heritage” of the area around the docks and contribute to the continued development of the waterfront.

Mr Pritchard said: “Our proposal is to build in brick around a steel frame, following the rhythms and patterns of the brick warehouse buildings that have so often defined the city.

“This brickwork is punctuated by deep set window reveals that conceal the window frame, thus combining tradition detailing with 21st Century expectations.”

The plans were controversial however, with local councillors raising concerns about noise from construction as well as a lack of parking in the area around the site.

More than 300 homes on Waterloo Dock



An impression of how the new development at Waterloo Dock Liverpool's waterfront could look.
An impression of how the new development at Waterloo Dock Liverpool’s waterfront could look.

This development would consist of 330 one, two and three bedroom apartments and would be located very close to the Isle of Man ferry terminal.

The apartments, which would be spread across three blocks of between four and nine storeys, would comprise part of Central Docks, a section of the huge Liverpool Waters masterplan.

Described as the “beating heart” of Liverpool Waters, the proposals would see the become a leisure and business hub as well as a residential area.

A report submitted with the application said: “The site is located at the northern edge of the City Centre, in a currently unused industrial context that is undergoing extensive re-development. Directly opposite to the site is the historic Waterloo Docks.”

However, these plans have also proved controversial with heritage campaigners, who object to the infilling of a small section of the dock to make way for construction.

The Isle of Man Ferry Terminal



How the new Isle of Man ferry terminal is set to look.
How the new Isle of Man ferry terminal is set to look.

As well as providing a new, purpose-built facility for boat services to the Isle of Man, the ferry terminal will form another link in the regeneration of north Liverpool’s docklands.

The £38m terminal will be constructed at Prince’s Half-Tide Dock, half a mile from the current Pier Head facility – which will be taken out of use once the new terminal is completed.

It is predicted that the project within the Liverpool Waters development will generate £3.2m for the regional economy, and opportunities are expected to attract further investment to the docklands.

A link road is currently under construction, with the £7m cost being funded by Liverpool City Council as part of its £500m Better Roads programme.

Almost 300 homes in the city centre



Proposals to build 278 homes in a tower on William Jessop Way in Liverpool city centre were backed by councillors last year.
Proposals to build 278 homes in a tower on William Jessop Way in Liverpool city centre were backed by councillors last year.

Proposals to build 278 homes in a tower on William Jessop Way in Liverpool city centre were backed by councillors last year and Peel and Your Housing Group, the applicants, cleared the final hurdle this month when a legal agreement was signed with the council.

The current plans would see a tower 31 storeys high built, with another, smaller, 11-storey section next to it.

A separate but similar proposal for the site had previously been approved in 2018 but developers said they resubmitted in order to make the £50m development more commercially viable.

The same site was the location of the ill-fated Shanghai Towers proposal, which would have had 55 storeys.

A revamp of the area around the waterfront’s museums



There could be further changes to the waterfront around the Royal Albert Dock. Photo by Colin Lane
There could be further changes to the waterfront around the Royal Albert Dock. Photo by Colin Lane

It is not just the construction of new buildings which is set to transform the waterfront.

A decade-long project launched by National Museums Liverpool earlier this year would see multiple existing buildings in the area between Albert Dock and Mann Island brought back into use.

That is part of larger plans to make better use of buildings owned by NML and to provide a better experience for visitors.

The highlight of the transformations will be the redevelopment of the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building – formerly the Dock Traffic Office, which was once the home of Granada TV at the entrance to Albert Dock.

It will include a prominent entrance to the city’s International Slavery Museum (ISM).

The creation of pedestrian links to Canning Dock will also be created in the masterplan.