Cavern Quarter – Williamson Square
A vision to hit the right note
A masterplan aimed at transforming the epicentre of Liverpool’s musical heritage has been given the green light.
Liverpool City Council’s cabinet approved a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) in March 2020 for the Cavern Quarter, including Mathew Street – home of the world-famous music venues the Cavern Club and Eric’s – and nearby Williamson Square.
The SRF contains a range of recommendations to help attract new investment, celebrate the current music scene and to enable the council to steer the future use of existing buildings in the area.
The document aims to address a tourism report that called for the city to curate a clearer proposition around Liverpool’s pivotal role in the story of popular and contemporary music.
A UNESCO City of Music, Liverpool’s music heritage industry – which is centred around The Beatles – is now worth more than £90m a year, but the tourism report found visitors are increasingly looking for a quality experiential visit.
Cavern Qtr SRF - the plans
Key recommendations in the Cavern Quarter/Williamson Square SRF include:
Cavern Quarter :
– Upgrade gateways into the Cavern Quarter
– Restore and enhance the character of the area including improving street furniture and building facades
– Animate blank walls and surfaces as part of a wider art and digital strategy
– Enhance attractions related to the City’s music, culture and heritage to promote a multi-offer experience to visitors
– Activate key nodes within the quarter, which offer opportunities for events and public art
– Enhance the approach to Williamson Square and the Cavern Quarter via a mix of new public art, trees, lighting, balanced street principles and improved wayfinding
– Develop a strategy to celebrate and interpret the street as the original “pool of Liverpool”
Williamson Square :
– Re-design the square to include flexible performance space and enhanced public realm including seating and planting
– Refurbishment of the St Johns extension building to improve the northern elevation of the square
– Consider re-development of Dawson Street site if the taxi rank can be successfully relocated
– Enhance the Playhouse’s presence on the square – spill out areas, programme of events
– Activate the façade of the vacant Marks & Spencer building