Over the years, many schemes have been put forward that would have radically transformed Liverpool and surrounding areas.

For whatever reason, these have never materialised. With hindsight, some just seem plain daft. Others progressed a lot further than the drawing board and had large amounts of taxpayers’ cash spent on them before they were halted.

Here we take a look back at some of the most famous or notorious stalled schemes over the city’s past.

The Cloud

The proposed “Fourth Grace” at the Pier Head was one of Liverpool’s most controversial building projects.

The “Cloud” would have been a striking addition to the waterfront. The design by architect Will Alsop was also due to incorporate the new Museum of Liverpool.



Will Alsop's vision for Liverpool's Fourth Grace - The Cloud Building
Will Alsop’s vision for Liverpool’s Fourth Grace – The Cloud Building

But it but was eventually ditched in 2004 because of spiralling costs, though not without much acrimony.

The Mann Island site was eventually redeveloped to house the Museum of Liverpool and the controversial black Mann Island buildings.

Mersey Barrage

More than £6m of taxpayers’ money was spent on feasibility studies for an electricity-generating Mersey Barrage in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The £1bn barrage would have blocked shipping and caused the river to silt up, but more thought seemed to be given to how it should be decorated – options included a 100ft statue of the Virgin Mary and a pair of giant Liver Birds.



A Mersey Tidal Project would harness the power of the famous river
A Mersey Tidal Project would harness the power of the famous river

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is now backing a new plan for a multi-billion pound Mersey Tidal Power project, which he said would put Merseyside at the forefront of the battle against climate change.

Roman Catholic Cathedral

The famous – or infamous, depending on your point of view – “Paddy’s Wigwam” design for the city’s RC cathedral was only arrived at after many previous failed designs for a mother church for the diocese.

The Liverpool “rocket ship” building design, which in 1959 came in second place in a competition to design a new city centre cathedral, is as striking and futuristic as the picture suggests.



Designs for a Liverpool 'rocket ship' building
Designs for a Liverpool ‘rocket ship’ building

But the most famous lost design is that of Sir Edwin Lutyens, which would have boasted the world’s biggest dome, even larger than St Peter’s in Rome. Sadly, because of spiralling costs, it was not to be, and the only part of it that was built is the present-day Crypt.

Anglican Cathedral Bridge

Designs for a £1m bridge leading to Liverpool Cathedral were unveiled in 2004.

The 250ft walkway would have spanned St James’s cemetery and gardens at a height of more than 180ft.



This glass bridge would have spanned St James's cemetery and connected the cathedral with Hope Street
This glass bridge would have spanned St James’s cemetery and connected the south face of the cathedral with Hope Street

It would have linked Gambier Terrace on the east side of the cathedral, with the Welsford Porch, one of the great cathedral entrances which has remained unused over the building’s 100 year-plus history.

The cathedral architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who died in 1960, had once considered a stone bridge on the same site, but the idea was scapped because of costs.

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola’s world headquarters was once said to be coming to Liverpool. London-based chartered surveyors Pepper Angliss and Yarwood proposed a 140-storey office tower – the world’s tallest – on a site near Herculaneum Dock in 1979.

Disneyland

In 1984, the ECHO reported on talks to bring the world of Disneyland to the city. Negotiations were understood to have taken place about Europe’s version of America’s Disneyland being built in Speke. The theme park was later built near Paris.

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Merseytram

After 13 years of speculation and many millions of pounds spent, a Merseytram scheme was finally derailed in 2014.



An artist's impression of the planned Merseytram system running along Lime Street outside St Georges's Hall, Liverpool
An artist’s impression of the planned Merseytram system running along Lime Street outside St Georges’s Hall, Liverpool

The plan for the line from Kirkby to Liverpool was first hatched in 2001, with funding approved by the Department of Transport in 2002.

Statue of Neptune

A massive statue of Neptune, Roman God of the Sea, which was at one time due to come to the shores of Merseyside.



An artists impression of the planned Tom Murphy statue featuring Neptune next to the New Brighton lighthouse codenamed the Poseidon Project
An artists impression of the planned Tom Murphy statue featuring Neptune next to the New Brighton lighthouse codenamed the Poseidon Project

The figure, put forward in 2001 by sculptor Tom Murphy, of a reclining Neptune would have been the length of five buses with the head rising 60ft above the Mersey seabed in New Brighton.

Skyscraper



The waterfront structure would have contained the highest living space in the UK
The waterfront structure would have contained the highest living space in the UK

A spectacular skyscraper planned for Liverpool’s waterfront would have contained the highest living space in the UK. The structure was set to soar 54 storeys and 170 metres into the Merseyside skyline and comprise 412 apartments as well as retail and leisure space.

Dry ski slope

Insurers called a halt to Kirkby’s “back to front” dry ski slope, which cost £114,000 to build at 1970s prices, due to fears that the giant mound might bury nearby houses or collapse on to the M57.



Dominating the Kirkby skyline, the new artificial ski slope in Bewley Road, Friday 5th April 1974.
Dominating the Kirkby skyline, the new artificial ski slope in Bewley Road, Friday 5th April 1974.

An opposition councillor at the time described it as “Britain’s most expensive pile of dirt”.

Albert Dock

Around 45 years ago there was a plan to fill in the Albert Dock and knock down the surrounding warehouses.



How the Albert Dock might have looked now if the scheme had gone ahead
How the Albert Dock might have looked now if the scheme had gone ahead

The 1960s property developer Harry Hyams had plans for a £100m office complex on the city’s waterfront.

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