Iconic city centre area to benefit from £5m upgrade work

The Ropewalks area of Liverpool city centre is to undergo a £5m upgrade involving resurfacing four key streets in the area which is one of the city’s night time hot spots.

Highways contractors for Liverpool City Council are set to start the improvement work after the local authority received £5m funding from Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

Work will focus on the Fleet Street, Colquitt Street, Back Colquitt Street and Ropewalks Square area, which leads to one of the UK’s leading visual arts centres, FACT Liverpool.

The work 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, February 13, with all works to be carried out between 7.30am until 6pm, Monday to 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 April 17, to May 19, 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.

Cllr 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.”

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.”