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Will Futurist's face be saved or lost?

Facade set to stay, says council, but campaigners want to know why Lime Street drawings showed otherwise

Written by . Published on January 8th 2015.

Will Futurist's face be saved or lost?

IT'S back to the Futurist as Liverpool City Council join the debate generated by Liverpool Confidential’s exclusive report about the developers' vision for down-at-heel Lime Street.

Computer generated images, posted on the website of Liverpool builders Neptune, showed a new look Lime Street. Gone were the old Futurist and Scala cinemas - and a row of some of the oldest buildings in the city centre – to make way for a student barracks.

But perhaps not all is yet lost. A spokesman for Liverpool City Council says: “The regeneration plans for Lime Street are still a work in progress and published images are merely illustrative. The city council and the developers are, in fact, looking to integrate a section of the existing Futurist Cinema façade into the design of any future development.

"Last year there were positive discussions with Save the Futurist campaign and as the design is revised further conversations will take place ahead of any wider public consultation under the planning process."

He added: “Lime Street is a key regeneration project and, with the removal of the dereliction, is part of the wider improvement of this part of the city centre. It will create around 200 jobs and the refurbishment of the ABC cinema up to another 50 and we expect plans to be submitted very soon.”

The debate generated by Liverpool Confidential was welcomed by Lesley  Mullally who 18 months ago launched a campaign and petition: Save The Futurist.


JI_Limest_Montage_0038[1]The Neptune vision of Lime Street

The petition, so far signed by 1,700 people, has been ‘asleep’ to await the promise of more details about the Lime Street regeneration project.

But Lesley told Liverpool Confidential: “Last year I had a meeting with the council and Neptune to express my views about the frontage of the Futurist. It is such a beautiful building and I wish all of it could be saved.

“I was told by Neptune that they would like to save the façade is it was financially viable, and since then we have heard nothing.

“When I saw the latest images on Neptune’s website I was horrified. Not only had the cinema frontages disappeared but also the Victorian and Georgian buildings.

“Although the council is now saying the images are merely illustrative, why have they been produced at all if the intention is to keep the Futurist frontage?

“I hope Neptune will remove the images to show us that it isn’t already done and dusted."

Futurist-Lime-Street5Cowboys: The Futurist advertises Gunfight At The OK Corrall 

She added: “I never went to the Futurist when it was a cinema as I was only four when it closed. But I have always loved and adored the frontage. It is such a treasure and needs to be spared.

“Lime Street is part of Liverpool’s history and it deserves much better than what has been proposed so far.”

There was a time when Liverpool had an advisory panel of architects, planners and professionals to give major schemes a once-over. It was a way of encouraging quality architecture in the city by exposing schemes to peer review before they even got anywhere near the planning committee.

Sadly, LUDCAP as it was called, disappeared and now there is no such conversation between developers, the planning officers and the planning committee of politicians.

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

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2015.

If anyone's looking for a role model for how an old building can be brought back to life, this is it - dripping with charm, atmosphere and charisma. wiltons.org.uk…

mickeydrippin'January 10th 2015.

Looks as though there TREES!! growing out of the roof. So Green Tambourine won't be happy if they are removed!!!

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 10th 2015.

Those items are categorically not trees, they are proof that this a cherished and much loved building that everyone holds in so much affection that it sits there rotting until someone with a bit of motivation steps up to do something CONSTRUCTIVE!!!!! Think of them as medals that mark a building as really, really treasured and SPECIAL!!!!

miss jonesJanuary 10th 2015.

No, think of them as signs that the owner is dilatory, neglectful and undeserving. Councils used to force these people to look after their property but now Council suck up to landlords, no matter how useless, selfish and cynical they are.

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2015.

Really? Exactly which state run dictatorship were you living in at the time miss Joneski?

John BradleyJanuary 10th 2015.

Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. www.gloucester.gov.uk/…/App2.pdf… Problem is, as with the buildings opposite the Municipal Buildings the council may be the landlord.

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2015.

Bit of food for thought...................www.bbc.co.uk/…/uk-england-29816152…

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 12th 2015.

John Bradley will like this. Trains....mmmm

Rob ...February 11th 2015.

Unbelievably depressing-looking front for that part of Lime Street. The usual modern brown concrete blocks. Could be anywhere. Do all architects learn the same techniques? Is individuality or preservation frowned on? Makes the Sandcastle at the Pier Head look interesting.

Ramsey CampbellFebruary 12th 2015.

I don't mean to be difficult, but isn't the Sturges film being advertised by the Scala?

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