HC Deb 28 June 1984 vol 62 cc491-2W
Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions and initiatives he is taking on the future of the International Garden Festival site in Liverpool; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

The International Garden Festival is owned by, and is the responsibility of, the Merseyside Development Corporation. Its strategy for the development of the area was set out in its initial development strategy published in August 1981, and in more detailed and updated form, taking account of the garden festival, in its riverside development programme published in November 1982. In broad terms, the intention is to retain for permanent recreational and sports use the part of the site to the south of the spine road, which includes the Festival hall, the arena, the esplanade, the public house and a substantial area of landscaped park with gardens, water features and woodland areas; and to develop the remainder of the site for a mixture of housing, high technology or light industry and commercial use

The MDC is proceeding to implement this strategy. In December 1982 MDC signed an agreement with the Liverpool city council whereby the council will take a lease of the area south of the spine road after the garden festival closes and will manage and maintain that area. MDC is actively marketing the remainder of the site, and is engaged in discussions with a number of interested builders and developers. MDC recognises the need to retain flexibility in its plans, particularly in the phasing of the dismantling of garden festival exhibits, in order to take account of the demand for development and other factors. My officials are in touch with MDC on these matters.