New £100m Edge Lane retail park opens

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Units still available at Liverpool Shopping Park. Pic © Gemma Jones JMU Journalism

Edge Lane’s £100m shopping park has finally opened its doors for the first time, after more than a year of being under construction.

The yellow-panelled buildings, designed by AEW Architects, are home to several big brand shops, including Boots, H&M, Smyths, Outfit and JD Sports.

With the opening of these retailers, the park is providing 3,000 jobs to the area.

Mayor Joe Anderson, who attended the official opening on Friday, told JMU Journalism: “The shopping park will bring fantastic revenue into the city, we will get more business rates and we will be able to spend that money on services.

“But the most important thing is about the jobs it creates and that it will be helping people get into employment.”

As well as providing employment opprtunities, Liverpool Shopping Park will also give the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation 50% of its profits for charitable causes.

The 1,500-spaced car park quickly filled up on opening day, although some of the retail outlets are yet to be filled.

Smyths Toy Store offered goodies to those who were lucky enough to be first through the doors, and Shopkins characters greeted customers.

YouTube: Gem Jones

H&M took a different approach by putting on a show. Customers lined up outside the store as they waited for the countdown for the ribbon to be cut, as staff performed a dance routine to entertain them.

One of the customers, Karen Hanson, told JMU Journalism: “I’m made up, I’m really happy with it. It’s really handy for everyone who lives round here. I think it’s about time as well.”

Meccano Liver Bird. Pic © Gemma Jones JMU Journalism

Another shopper, Rachel Day, said: “It’s been good, it’s been very well organised and it looks nice – lovely. It’s better than what I was expecting it to be.”

Launch day also saw the unveiling of a new Liver Bird stature at the retail outlet, which is said to be even larger than the famous ones at the Pier Head.

The sculpture is made out of large pieces of Meccano kit, which remembers Frank Hornby and Meccano toys, as his factory used to be located on the site of the new Shopping Park.

The giant bird was created by artist Emma Rodgers, who also sculpted the Cilla Black statue in Mathew Street. Emma has close connections to the city and is an honorary fellow at Liverpool John Moores University.

Ms Rodgers told JMU Journalism: “I am relieved that the Liver Bird is in place. It was nerve-wracking on installation on the Wednesday, but it’s great to be able to bring it home.

“It’s the original site of the factory so it’s a big part of history.”