Liverpool Garden Festival site to open in spring

Liverpool Gardens Festival
Image caption The park's Chinese pagodas have been restored

Liverpool's International Garden Festival site is expected to re-open in the spring after a seven-month delay, developers Langtree have said.

The Festival Gardens park was due to open in July but the main contractor working on the development, Mayfield Construction, went into administration.

The waterfront site hosted the garden festival for five months in 1984.

The redevelopment project has restored the site's Chinese pagodas, Japanese gardens and water features.

When opened the park will be managed by the Land Trust.

'Horticultural excellence'

Steve Barnes, of Langtree, said: "We want it to be perfect and it is going to take a little longer, but it is worth getting right.

"There are seven water features on site and most of them flow from one to the other through a system of pumps and wheels so it's quite a complicated system to get right.

"What is important is that the park when it is open is something which the public and we can be proud of."

More than three million people visited the 1984 International Garden Festival which was billed as a "five-month pageant of horticultural excellence and spectacular entertainment".

Built on a former refuse dump it contained more than 60 individual gardens from countries around the world, a Festival Hall, public pavilions and miniature railway.

The site has been derelict since 1997 when Pleasure Island, a leisure and entertainment facility that occupied the site, closed.

Restoration work costing £3.7m, funded by the former North West Development Agency, began in February 2010.

Part of the site is due to be developed into residential property.

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