Heritage praise for Liverpool’s buildings

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Liverpool at night. Pic by Vegard Grott © JMU Journalism

Liverpool waterfront at night. Pic by Vegard Grott © JMU Journalism

Liverpool has been praised by English Heritage for its preservation of historic buildings.

The comments were published in the organisation’s annual report into buildings in the North West that have been rescued or deemed at risk.

English Heritage is the steward of over 400 significant historical and archaeological sites in England and highlighted the city’s efforts to restore four buildings and get the off the ‘at risk’ register.

The North Warehouse at Stanley Dock, the Royal Insurance building on North John Street, the Laundry and Laundry Cottage at Croxteth Park and St Andrew’s Church on Rodney Street, have all been brought back to use and are no longer considered at risk.

Councillor Richard Kemp, cabinet member for regeneration, told JMU Journalism: “I’m pleased, one of Liverpool’s big assets are our listed and preserved buildings and communities.

“Liverpool has always had a very strong relationship with English Heritage because we have the largest number of preserved buildings in the country outside London, so it has always been in our interest to work with the leading heritage body.

“This of course leads to us getting large numbers of grants from them because listed buildings are incredibly difficult to look after, and very expensive, so we do need help with these things.”

Charles Smith from Heritage at Risk said: “Great progress has been made in Liverpool, as evidenced by the major sites coming off the register this year. We are pleased to see Liverpool city council has invested resources into saving its heritage and that our partnership has provided dividends, for example in the case of the Royal Insurance building where English Heritage provided constructive advice on the conversion of the building into a hotel and provided funding of £300,000.

“Whilst we’ve been very successful in improving many sites, there is still so much more to be achieved and we will continue to work in partnership with the council.”

However, a number of Liverpool’s historic buildings may be put at risk by the Peel development on the Liverpool waters, Councillor Kemp added. He said: “This could mean that our Unesco world heritage site which contains the majority of these listed buildings could be removed from us.

“There are only two places that have ever been taken off the world heritage site list once you’ve been put on and Unesco have warned that that would happen if Liverpool waters developments goes ahead as the council have currently given outlined planning permission for. It shouldn’t in my view have been given planning permission in the first place. Now all we can do is wait.”

About Josie Timms, JMU Journalism