Giant Meccano Liver Bird marks opening of £100m Liverpool Shopping Park

Once fully complete the park, off Edge Lane, will be the UK’s largest shopping with 727,000 sq ft of retail space and parking for 1,500 cars – and will create 3,000 jobs. Tony McDonough reports

40ft Liver Bird made out of Mecanno on the site of the new £100m Liverpool Shopping Park. Picture by Gareth Jones

 

Retailers at the new £100m Liverpool Shopping Park have opened their doors to customers and the world’s largest Liver Bird has been unveiled on the site.

Once fully complete the park, off Edge Lane, will be the UK’s largest shopping with 727,000 sq ft of retail space and parking for 1,500 cars – and will create 3,000 jobs.

The first stores have now opened and over the next six months more will open and retailers signed up include H&M, Outfit, JD Sports, Smyths Toys, Boots and many more.

Work is already underway on phase two, which will include Hollywood Bowl, a multi-screen cinema and a whole host of food and beverage operators, ready for an Autumn 2018 opening.

Developer of the park, The Derwent Group, has pledged that for every £100 its tenants pay in rent, £42 will go directly to good causes, many of which will be in Merseyside.

Towering over the park, the 11-metre tall Liver Bird sculpture is made of fabricated Meccano pieces in a nod to the area’s history as home of Liverpool-born toy-maker Frank Hornby and the first Meccano factory. 

Liverpool Shopping Park is set to be the biggest of its kind in the UK when complete

 

A joint commission by Derwent, Liverpool City Council and Spin Master – global children’s entertainment company and makers of Meccano – the sculpture has been designed by internationally-renowned artist Emma Rodgers, who also designed the new Cilla Black statue on Mathew Street.

The new Liver Bird took more than a year to design and manufacture, used seven tonnes of steel and involved more than 1,000 hours of metalworking. 

David Lyons, chief executive of Derwent, said: “We’re delighted that we can celebrate our progress at Liverpool Shopping Park with such a wonderful, apt and creative piece of public art for the benefit of the local community.

“There’s hundreds of Liver Birds across the city but it’s a real privilege to say that we have one of our own, and the world’s largest, here at Liverpool Shopping Park.

It’s also very fitting as the statue is made of Meccano and it stands on the site of the first Meccano factory.”

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