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Liverpool’s historic Ropewalks district is about to undergo a major makeover

Ropewalks Square outside of FACT is to undergo a major makeover as part of a £5m upgrade to the area.

Highways contractors for Liverpool City Council are set begin a £5m programme to resurface four key streets in the heart of one of the city centre’s night time hot spots.

The City Council has received £5m from Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund to undertake upgrades to Fleet Street, Colquitt Street, Back Colquitt Street and Ropewalks Square, which leads to one of the UK’s leading visual arts centres, FACT Liverpool.

Works will include replacement of all existing footway and carriageway surfaces, along with the installation of new street furniture, bins, bollards and street lighting to make the area safer and more welcoming for pedestrians and cyclists.

This programme will mark the second phase of highways enhancements to the Ropewalks district after the council implemented £3.7m of improvements to Wood Street and Slater Street in 2021 and 2022.

Due to this historic nature of the rope making industry, the area is characterised by long narrow streets each running parallel to each other – which in turn has led to congestion and safety issues as the Ropewalks district has developed into a dynamic cultural and creative centre.

This second phase of improvements is to start Monday, 13 February, with all works to be carried out between 7.30am until 6.00pm (Monday-Friday). Some weekend working may be necessary, but noisy breaking works will not take place before 9am.

With Liverpool announced as host city for Eurovision 2023, careful planning and consideration has been taken when planning the phasing of construction works around the event which will be held in the city in May, 

To mitigate impact, the council is consulting with local businesses to ensure no construction works taking place within areas that are expected to see the highest visitor numbers. 

Between 17 April to 19 May, no works will take place on Fleet Street, between Slater Street and Hanover Street.

During that period, works will be limited to Colquitt Street and Fleet Street (between Slater Street and Seel Street).

It is anticipated phase 2 of the Ropewalks scheme will be completed by the Autumn.

Councillor Dan Barrington, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Highways, said: 

“The Ropewalks district has developed over the past decade into a hugely popular destination and is now a vital engine in Liverpool’s creative and night time economies.

“Due to the nature of the narrow roads and the sheer volume of people and traffic attracted to the area, congestion, air pollution and road safety has become a big issue and the council has been looking at ways to improve the experience especially for pedestrians and cyclists.

“Phase two of these works were planned long before the city decided to even bid for Eurovision, but given that the city centre will be bustling with visitors in late April and into May I’m glad we’ve been able to listen and work with local businesses to change the works programme and minimise the impact of this scheme.

“Once completed the Ropewalks area will have a public realm it deserves, that will be safer and more pleasant for all concerned.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: 

“It is areas like Ropewalks, with  its vibrant mix of creatives and independents, that give Liverpool city centre its distinct identity – and we want to protect that character and heritage for years to come.

“Through devolution, we are supporting our local councils to target developments that matter to local people and businesses, with much-needed funding. Working together, we’re ensuring that Ropewalks has the infrastructure and accessibility improvements it needs to soak up all the advantages of what promises to be a massive year for the city’s economy.”

READ MORE: Final chapter in regeneration of Kings Dock opens

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