Campaign group hosts festival to engage with local community.

Liverpool hosts flyover festival

The afternoon of Sunday 13th July saw the Dale Street section of Liverpool’s Churchill Way flyover closed to traffic and instead hosting a one-day community festival, with food, music, food, theatre and opportunities for the community to have their say.

 
The Flyover Fest, according to organisers Friends of the Flyover, provided ‘a taster’ of how the structure would look and feel if it were transformed, as they would like it to be, into an elevated park and community space. The primary purpose of the day was to seek dialogue and feedback with the community. Friends of the Flyover say they were ‘overwhelmed by the response and positivity, with over 3,000 visitors in attendance over the afternoon’.
 
Friends of the Flyover is the brainchild of retailer Kate Stewart, designer Steve Threlfall and architect Mark Bennett, all Liverpool citizens.
 
Plans laid out by the local council  and economic development body to improve the city's public realm include the removal of the Churchill Way Flyover and its walkways. With the costs for demolishing the structure estimated at £3-4 million, Friends of the Flyover ‘began looking at an alternative approach which give something back to the city’. 
 
Turning the flyover into an elevated urban park – similar to New York’s High Line – would, they believe, ‘enable residents both in the city centre and in the north of Liverpool to engage with a basically forgotten area of the city’.
 
The campaigners aim to install cafes, markets, shops, recreation areas and community gardening projects along the length of the structure, which will also carry a pedestrian and cycle path to connect areas in the north of Liverpool with the city centre and link various cultural sites in Liverpool’s heritage quarter. 
 
Liverpool City Council is supporting the campaign, whose central argument is that the cost of demolishing the flyover is far higher, with 're-purposing' offering a much more potent catalyst to regeneration.

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