Liverpool aerial zipline to be approved despite fears of ‘Disneyisation’ of historic city centre

Colin Drury
Thursday 25 June 2020 17:08 BST
Liverpool Radio City Tower
Liverpool Radio City Tower

A proposed 400-metre zipline whisking thrill-seekers above Liverpool city centre is set to be approved – despite critics claiming it will Disneyfy a hugely historic area.

The £4 million ride will whip daredevils from the famous Radio City Tower to the roof of Central Library.

Along its trajectory would be the Grade I listed St George’s Hall, the 19th century World Museum and the heritage site of St John’s Gardens.

Planning officers have recommended the attraction – which would be the UK’s first such permanent urban zip wire – should be approved when it comes before Liverpool City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

But critics – including heritage groups and all three ward councillors – say it would cheapen Liverpool’s status as a UN World Heritage Site.

“It’s madness,” Councillor Nick Small told The Independent. “It’s completely wrong for the area. St John’s Gardens is home to several war memorials. That’s not the right place for people to be screaming above head on a zip wire.”

The economic argument – that the attraction would bring tens of thousands of tourists to the city every year – did not stack up, he added.

“I think it would end up closing after a few years,” he said. “I’m not convinced that level of demand would be sustained.”

Some 29 objections have already been registered against the scheme. One argued that that zipwire would “represent the Disneyisation of one of the city’s most cultural areas, making it appear tacky”.

Zip World, the company behind the proposal, said the plans would bring something new to the area and that it would “tremendously sensitive” to the surrounding history.”

Andrew Hudson, commercial director, said: “We feel it will add to the culture that’s already in the city, whether it’s the music tourism or the football tourism, we think it will add tremendous value.”

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