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Everton Brow Sky Pier shelved after delays

£900k Euro funding for observatory slips from city's grasp

Written by . Published on January 14th 2015.

Everton Brow Sky Pier shelved after delays

DELAYS in starting one of north Liverpool’s flagship projects – a futuristic Sky Pier on Everton Brow  – have led to £900,000 of European funding being lost, forcing the scheme to be put on hold.

Today the city council insisted it was still committed to the Sky Pier and is now seeking alternative ways of paying for what is billed as a tourism-generating landmark.

Work should already have started on the Sky Pier, with its promises of stunning views over the river and the Welsh mountains. The project was also geared to the creation of jobs for local people in an unemployment blackspot, via an information centre, event and gallery space as well as a café.

But it hasn't begun and one of the provisos of the injection of euros from Brussels, under the European Regional Development Fund, was a completion date of this autumn.

The observatory, designed by architects Broadway Malyan, was originally costed at £1.4m but this has risen to around £2m, with the council agreeing it would underwrite £1.15m of the budget.

It says it has looked at ways of modifying the Sky Park in a bid to bring down the costs.

Mark Kitts, the city council’s assistant director for regeneration, said the council has looked at a number of options to modify the Sky Pier to bring it back within that budget but they haven't been presented a viable or sustainable solution.

Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are still absolutely committed to the Sky Pier project. We are working hard with partners to identify ways of attracting the level of investment that is needed. If we are able to do that then the scheme is ready to move forward very quickly.

“We are also pushing ahead with other exciting projects to improve the park, including walking trails and other initiatives designed to make it a popular community green hub which benefits local residents. 

"There is already a new heritage trail, a portrait bench highlighting the rich social history of the space, and the historic lock up, which features prominently on Everton Football Club’s crest, is permanently lit up. I think the future for Everton Park is really exciting and we are determined to put it on a par with some of the best parks in the world.”

It is likely to be some months before real progress can be made on the construction of the Sky Park, but it is likely to raise questions about how the city allowed £900,000 of European money was allowed to slip from its grasp.

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Ronnie HughesJanuary 14th 2015.

All the spin can't compensate for the disappointing performance here by us as a City. It seems simply soft to let that much funding slip away.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
ButterfingersJanuary 14th 2015.

Another case of pie in the sky

Sky MastersonJanuary 14th 2015.

Pie is good - the poor cannot eat scenery.

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2015.

This project presumably did not fit the agenda of the Mayor's developer friends - so no-one did any work on it. Too busy drawing up proposals to sell off greenspace for luxury houses no-one needs, but that developers can sell quickly, thanks to the government subsidy, and for a football stadium in a park that Joe has unilaterally decided is "underused".

Clare ShawJanuary 15th 2015.

I heard that developers weren't keen on zip wires and skate-board parks. They were more interested in "student homes with a view."

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 15th 2015.

Of course you did.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

No, they're saving all of them student lets for Grove St and Crown St. They might even throw in the odd skate park.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Visitor centre jobs? very few I would have thought with the whole visitor attraction economy relaying on volunteers to survive...

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

The £900k is actually still within the Liverpool City Region and is therefore not "lost". Excellent reporting...sorry, copying from the Echo.

onetenorJanuary 16th 2015.

£ 900K still in the region? Where? Will it just get pushed about until forgotten about and then used for some other scheme with the right spin? I suggest we watch that space. No names no pack drill but I think some rivalry exists between certain parties regarding what projects get done in Liverpool. Regarding Walton Hall Park I think funds for the upkeep of this old green space ( of which I was very fond ) were diverted elsewhere and the park allowed to degenerate thereby making it less attractive thus actually encouraging underuse. Comments?

Josie MullenFebruary 15th 2015.

Onetenor - I think you are right. I asked in a FOI - for a breakdown of the budget so it would be possible to see what is being spent on each park. As you say - run a park down and it becomes easier to sell it off - with the usual Anderson comments about anti-social behaviour, dog pooetc. Anyway, the response from the Council was that they have NO information on individual park budgets. WHAT A LOAD OF BULLSHIT.....SORY I MEANT DOG POO

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