“This £40 million gateway scheme currently being delivered in partnership with Liverpool City Council and Sigma Inpartnership, the development has seen the clearance of a series of run down buildings and the development of new retail, leisure, hotel and student accommodation on one of the most well known streets in Liverpool.”

Ion Property Developments Limited

01. Arrival
Welcome to Lime Street. Welcome to Liverpool. When you arrive in a city, you want to discover its difference, taste its pleasures, unveil its secrets… Lime Street is the Gateway to the Knowledge Quarter.

“If Lime Street is a Gateway to Liverpool, then it must condense, embody and express what Liverpool is about. You must know that you have arrived.

Steve Parry, Managing Director, Ion Property Developments Limited

02. Performance
Lime Street is a street of stages, screens, songs and stories

At the heart of its future is a new kind of performance space – a destination that will attract world-class creative talent, and will showcase Liverpool across the globe.

“This project will complement the Lime Street mixed use scheme and involves the refurbishment of the listed former ABC Cinema which occupies a prominent location opposite Liverpool’s mainline station.

This initial first phase £5 million project will see the cinema auditorium converted into a new performance venue and sound stage with associated bars and restaurant. It will also incorporate facilities for Digital Media Content production.”

03. People
Lime Street has ceased to be a Great Liverpool Street. It’s become a road

It has become a thoroughfare carrying people to more interesting places and more appealing destinations. City streets are places to eat, live, explore and breathe. They are places for chance meetings and unexpected discoveries. People bring streets to life, so let’s give it back to them.

“If we want people to come to Lime Street we need to do two things. Create more attractions and provide more and better designed space.”

Matt Brook, Broadway Malyan Architects

04. 24 hours
There are cities and streets that don’t stop and don’t sleep. They are engines with perpetual motion. They live, move and breathe 24/7. When it gets dark we switch on the lights!

“The definitive images of Lime Street are at night. It’s the glimmer and glamour of neon that frame its identity. It’s something that we set out to capture and revive.”

Rob Mason, Development Director Ion Property Developments Limited

05. Save The Futurist campaign group backs our vision

The Save the Futurist campaign group has given its support to our new look scheme for Liverpool Lime Street. A spokesman for the group said:

“Over the past three years, our campaign group’s aim was to save all or as much of The Futurist was possible. Due to long standing mis-management of this beautiful building and with no heritage listing to protect Liverpool’s first purpose built cinema, it is with a heavy heart that we have accepted that there is very little that can be saved. Our focus over the past few months was to fight for an appropriate commemorative for not only The Futurist, but also The Scala and The Palais De Lux to be included within the Lime Street redevelopment plans.

“We feel that the new scheme that has been presented is an exciting step forward and creates a modern gateway for our city, particularly the wider street-scape proposals, with significant notes of the past. To have the full facade of The Futurist displayed on the cladding panels and the retention of the cinema’s name within the scheme, we feel is the best we could hope for.

“We will be working closely with Liverpool City Council and Ion Property Developments Limited on some of the historic detail of the development once the scheme has been through planning.”

“We feel that the new scheme that has been presented is an exciting step forward and creates a modern gateway for our city, particularly the wider street-scape proposals, with significant notes of the past”

Save The Futurist Campaign Group

Download our vision document

We have put together a detailed vision for the future of Lime Street, featuring interviews with key members of the design and development team. Download the document here and have your say on the scheme using the form below.



The panels which represent Lime Street’s past

March 12, 2018

Liverpool’s Lime Street is so iconic because of it’s unique, rich history which local artist, Anthony Brown, has captured beautifully in his artwork which is now displayed on the facade of the new building. Anthony Brown has shaped that vision by creating a large-scale graphic art work that will act as an impressive welcome to visitors […]

Lime Street facade Artwork

January 23, 2018

Artist Anthony Brown’s graphic artwork paints the picture of the iconic street’s history. Leading Liverpool property developer, Ion, has revealed the artwork created by Anthony Brown which will decorate the Lime Street development. The regeneration experts are in the process of transforming Lime Street as a key gateway area, with a hotel, student accommodation and […]

Topping Out of Liverpool Lime Street Development

Ion Development announces that Lime Street, its £39 million mixed-use development in Liverpool, hit an important construction milestone in reaching its full height which was marked with a topping out ceremony led by the scheme’s building contractor, ISG. Further to groundbreaking in September last year, construction of the scheme continues to make good progress in […]

Your say

Thank you for having your say on the vision for Liverpool Lime Street. Our comments section is now closed. Please note all comments were moderated before appearing on this website.


  • darren said (at 2:25 pm on October 2, 2015)

    Fantastic idea, the street is a disgrace at the minute! it needs major work done to it, and the removal of the current businesses from the premises. First impressions are essential, and those current establishments, and the state they have let their premises deteriorate too is unwelcoming to visitors.

  • Rob D Davies said (at 12:36 pm on September 29, 2015)

    I am an artist/painter and have just finished a residency at Metal in Edge Hill station. Part of my imagery is incorporates and is influenced by cinema to a certain degree, and I thought it would be great to exhibit some of the work near to or on Lime street, in connection with the proposed changes and as a tribute to The Futurist cinema.

    I have another artist whose work is similarly cinema-related (both of us seem to have a slight pre-occupation with westerns) would also exhibit alongside me. I wonder if anyone has any ideas regarding any buildings or empty shops, perhaps, that could make decent potential exhibition spaces for a period of a couple of weeks..?

    Kind regards,

    Rob D

  • Matthew Jones said (at 9:18 am on August 28, 2015)

    I suppose almost anything is better than the current dereliction. Sadly, no amount of p-r speak can conceal the fundamental banality and lack of imagination in these proposals.

  • Robbie said (at 8:13 pm on August 27, 2015)

    My initial impression is positive, a big improvement on the initial proposals. A mixture of modern, contemporary styles complemented by the beautiful art deco architectural features that fit in with the style of another great cinema from Liverpool’s past, the ABC. Whatever can be saved from the futurist will be great.

    All in all, an exciting proposal that will expand the city’s offerings and complement the surrounding areas.

  • Paul Blackburn said (at 4:56 pm on August 5, 2015)

    Still think the vertical coloured strips on the top layer don’t work. A much lighter touch is needed here. The architects need to work on this bit, making it hover above and behind Lime Street. Liverpool presents itself in layers – see Quentin Hughes’s classic ‘Seaport’ book. The access to the hotel etc. from the upper layer at Skelhorne Street/Bolton Street is a great idea, but ‘reading’ this architecture from Lime Street and St. George’s plateau will work much better, if it is treated in design terms separately from the lower Lime Street elevation. August 05, 2015 at 3:48 pm By Paul Blackburn – See more at: http://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/lime-street-redevelopment-set-for-approval/#sthash.4xaN03PK.dpuf

  • Kayla Bibby said (at 2:29 pm on July 30, 2015)

    Along with the addition of lots of neon lights, which would be a massive to boost Liverpool’s nightlife, I also think you should accommodate a nightclub on Lime Street. Namely ‘The Hippodrome’, which used to be one of the best nightclubs in the city and used to be next door to the Futurist.

    Bring back the Hippodrome!

  • Kayla Bibby said (at 2:20 pm on July 30, 2015)

    I really like the design and backlit colours on the building opposite, looks really vibrant; however I don’t think you’ve quite nailed it with the gable end and the ABC. I think a lot more could be done to make it more vibrant. Lime Street should be Liverpool’s equivalent to Piccadilly Circus or Times Square. I think you need to add a lot neon signs, round the top of the ABC and down the side of Lime Street itself should have lots of neon adverts, like Piccadilly Circus, Times Square or even the Printworks in Manchester (only a lot better). The rear of the Crown Pub on Skelhorne Street and the whole upper floors of the white building sandwiched in between should be covered in neons too.

    Neon lights add life, creates a vibe, makes places more vibrant and a create a sense of ‘a lot going on’. Lime Street used to have neon adverts back in the day, we should definitely bring them back and more. Give Lime Street it’s WOW factor!

    Lime Street is THE gateway into Liverpool, We want people to get off a train at Lime Street and go “WOW!!”. Which granted they do anyway when they look towards St. George’s Hall & Wellington’s Column etc, that ‘WOW’ factor needs to be reciprocated when looking towards the ABC.



  • Tony Man said (at 11:03 am on July 21, 2015)

    I think the new plans for Lime Street is ok but I would add neon lights and signs above the shop fronts along Lime Street. Both sides of the street will be ideal but if it only on one side then it should be from and including the old ABC cinema to the old Army & Navy store. This will look fantastic as the big screen at St Johns will make it looks like a continuation of neon lights and signs. Old photographs shows this was the case at Lime Street when is was lit up. This will be our version of Londons Piccadilly Circus and New Yorks Times Square but better than Manchester Printworks! Let have it!

    • Kayla Bibby replied (at 3:59 pm on July 30, 2015)

      Haha I’ve just wrote exactly the same as you! Only just seen your comment after I posted mine!

      Great minds ay! 🙂

  • Joe O'Donnell said (at 5:29 pm on July 15, 2015)

    Totally out of keeping.. You must at least keep the facade of the futurist. The scale is overwhelming and the buildings have no interaction with the street windows etc. Dated.

  • George said (at 8:06 pm on July 7, 2015)

    I am old enough to remember when Lime Street was thriving. Sadly that’s a long time ago. Similar to Bold street only in a more prominent position it will not be an easy task to strike a balance between old and new but looking on the bright side it looks like some good idea’s have been put forward. Good luck to everyone involved. Hope I live long enough to see it completed.

  • Alwyn Maynard said (at 3:55 pm on July 3, 2015)

    Unfortunately, I don’t think the new design is much better than the previous effort.

    Like Jane said previously, I’d like to see a move away from the monolithic approach which basically replaces a row of interesting buildings with one bland shopping centre. We have St John’s Precinct for that.

    It’s so frustrating that the architects can’t seem to envision something more than this.

    Lime Street is busy and bold. It has presence. Its historic. Where is the nod to all this in this proposal? No one is expecting another St George’s Hall.

    Just give us something with character that will last. I want to be able to say to someone, “You should see what they’ve done to Lime Street!”, but in a positive sense.

  • Paul said (at 3:29 pm on July 2, 2015)

    It’s awful, it’s sold to by the use of projections at night but of a day it looks terrible. Also the public realm shown in the images isn’t part of the scheme which is very dishonest. I don’t believe a word of what’s said about the former cinema either, Neptune talk a good game but they have nobody onboard! It’s terribly short-sighted. Why can’t we just modernise what’s there, Manchester would find the money to do something amazing with this site, we’re run by a gang of clowns.

  • Jen Allanson said (at 7:53 am on July 2, 2015)

    Save the Futurist facade. I understand that its cheaper and easier to tear it all down, but once its lost its lost forever. Previous Liverpool councils have overseen the tearing down of the overhead railway and customs house. Imagine if they’re had the foresight to preserve rather than demolish?

    Theres always a commercial argument for clearing a site rather than investing in preservation. But its short-sighted. We need more longer-term thinking.

    The area definitely needs regeneration. It makes commercial sense to build students flats while that bubble is still expanding. But recognise that it is a bubble. Think about the post-student-boom use of this site. How will it be used in 10 years time? 30 years? 50 years?

    Please, have the foresight to preserve the Futurist facade within the development. Save something beautiful for the city to make use of in the future.

  • Daniel said (at 10:57 am on July 1, 2015)

    These new plans are just as awful as the first set. If this goes through then Lime Street will end up looking like a second rate shopping centre.

  • Russ Pales said (at 10:23 pm on June 30, 2015)

    Exciting new plans for the City. I just hope the buildings on the ABC side will be spruced up too (Forbidden Planet, Chesters Chicken ect). The project will be heavily degraded if only one side is done.

  • Nick Quine said (at 8:18 pm on June 30, 2015)

    as an ex-pat Liverpudlian who rarely has the opportunity to visit these days I was horrified on my last visit at the state of Lime Street which was 3/4 derelict. Anything’s an improvement, but I’m disappointed that the best the developers can do is put up some coloured panels with pictures of the genuinely interesting buildings which used to be there. Where’s the ambition, where’s the style? I can’t help but agree with an earlier commenter who said the new structure won’t age well. However, well done for trying Joe, no-one else has bothered!

    • George replied (at 8:15 pm on July 7, 2015)

      I have noticed for many years in Liverpool that we lack ambition when it comes to architecture mostly going for square and/or oblong blocks never high never wide always middle of the road. Our predecessors never faltered when it came to trying something new/daring..and look at the fantastic legacy they left us.

  • Jane said (at 6:55 pm on June 30, 2015)

    I agree with a comment earlier which stated that a good few of the existing buildings are worthy of renovation if you look beyond the peeling paint and general air of decrepitude. I’m very sad about The Futurist as it provides a real architectural flourish and has integrity. What I would hate to see is the proposal for a projection of the real thing onto the buildings. Again, too faddish and high maintenance.
    I want to see real architectural integrity, not just metal panels and neon in its place.

  • Jane said (at 6:49 pm on June 30, 2015)

    I can’t help but feel the scheme looks cheap; without sensitive design feature or detailing. I believe it would be a great mistake to engrave words or phrases onto buildings (in place of real architectural detail)-as this is likely to date very quickly and be faddish. A row of individually designed buildings would be much more in keeping and appropriate for the street; rather than one monolithic brick built block.
    I also think it essential that both sides of the street be envisaged together, and that the buildings opposite be sensitively restored & renovated at the same time.

    I do think a lot of people have been quite ‘taken’ with the public realm improvements depicted; even though that these works are not actually part of the proposal.I fear this is quite deceptive. I think it also important that people make comments on the actual planning application and not just on this particular forum. Proper consultation is required, not just the semblance of one.

  • Roger Jonas said (at 5:11 pm on June 30, 2015)

    Is there a justifiable reason other than “It does not fit with the design” for not incorporating a renovated futurist in this scheme? I understand the need to move on, but not in this case. There will always be divided opinions regards old versus new, but I genuinely consider this an ill conceived decision… 🙁

  • Neil Martin said (at 4:13 pm on June 30, 2015)

    Please think bigger. The frontage still looks bland. It needs to be more than just large paneling.

  • Rex said (at 2:21 pm on June 30, 2015)

    Where there is a will there is a way #savethefuturistfacade
    Are the suggested street realm improvements actually part of the planning application?

  • John Bradley said (at 2:20 pm on June 30, 2015)

    We should seek to create a collection of high quality historical adverts like those shown in the pictures. The ones for Guinness, Martel & Schweppes and use them to decorate the buildings in the area. Such as St Johns and some of the planer buildings up to the Old Army and Navy store.

  • Peter Morris said (at 2:14 pm on June 30, 2015)

    I have read your proposal documents with interest, and would firstly like to commend the project team on a thoughtful and creative plan.
    I have a number of observations to make, which I hope you will find helpful.
    1. It is crucial that the schemes for both sides of the street are commenced and co-ordinated to come on stream at the same time, so that they come together in a complementary way to each other. It cannot be tolerated that the former ABC cinema be left ‘fallow’ whilst the scheme on the other side of the street goes ahead, for example.
    2. A solution for traffic movements from north to south across the city needs to be found. Currently, there are three, I believe:-
    a)the route from Norton Street, around the back of Lime Street Station, and onto Rodney Street.
    b) the route along Lime Street.
    c) the route along the Strand.
    This has resulted in Lime Street becoming a ‘rat-run’. I welcome the widened pedestrian sidewalks,and seating space, and would hope that a way to restrict vehicular traffic along Lime St can be found to balance the needs of the new street scape with those of the local businesses, and the needs for traffic to keep on the move.
    3. I welcome the proposal for the new residential tower block, not least because it will restrict the view as one exist Lime Street Station of the hideous Unite student ‘development’, which looks like a breeze block edifice from Soviet era Eastern Europe. Whoever signed that one off should be taken out and birched!
    Good luck,
    Peter Morris

  • Sean said (at 1:49 pm on June 30, 2015)

    The revised plans look great, I just hope that the available retail outlets are not given to chain cafes and restaurants (i.e. Costa, Starbucks, Subway etc.) and that some serious thought is given to who will occupy them (a proper tourist centre would perhaps be fitting instead of visitors getting lost on their way to the one based in Queens Square). As mentioned in the plan, this will be visitors first perception of Liverpool and we want it to be unique and reflective of the city they are entering.

    • George replied (at 8:23 pm on July 7, 2015)

      Tourist and Information centre near the station is a must.

  • David said (at 1:36 pm on June 30, 2015)

    The problem with this development was, and remains, the Lime Street frontage.

    I totally understand that both the Futurist & Scala cinemas have no future as cinemas, though buildings in a worse state have been restored in the Ropewalks neighbourhood for example, however the frontage of the Futurist should be kept. The Scala is a bland post WW2 bomb damage replacement of no real value to the streetscape.

    The other buildings that are being demolished are run down but also attractive once you look past the peeling paint and should also be integrated into the new development.

    As for the improvements to the Lime Street frontage of the new development, it is quite obvious that it is exactly the same building as before but with some superficial decorative panels added.

    A pity, the development as a whole is a good one but it is badly let down by the Lime Street facade.

  • david watson said (at 1:19 pm on June 30, 2015)

    The new design for Lime Street is just as terrible as the last offering. The street should have a nice clean Georgian frontage with possibly a tiered, modern, vertical extension. At eye level Georgian to blend in with St. George’s Hall. I like to visit Liverpool for the classical architecture. Please don’t proceed with this cheap offering. It will not age well. They try and make it look nice in the images with trees and pretty lighting but on a dull day in winter it will look like a soul-less utility building. Don’t be fooled. I can not believe the mayor approves of this.

  • Melissa said (at 1:02 pm on June 30, 2015)

    Would be great to see more life down there as it is a little depressing. I hope that the redevelopment will not interfere with the original building facades where possible. I am not the largest fan of the architecture employed at Liverpool 1 shopping area, I can’t imagine it will stand the test of time. Lord St and church Street have beautiful architecture which in my opinion rivals London’s Oxford Road. I particularly like the al fresco elements, as a mother with a pushchair, navigating my way around that part of town is quite stressful, especially with the level of smog from the continuous stream of buses and cars. Looking forward to seeing another part of Liverpool grow and prosper.

  • Andrew said (at 10:16 am on June 30, 2015)


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