Funding for new Museum of Liverpool approved

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Pier Head, as seen from the River Mersey

In Liverpool, England the North West Development Agency (NWDA) has approved funds of nearly £33 million (about $57.6 million U.S. dollars) for the construction of the Museum of Liverpool on Mann Island at the Pier Head — part of Liverpool's UNESCO World Heritage Site waterfront. An additional £7.5 million (about 13.1 million U.S. dollars) has been allocated for the creation of a canal link across Mann Island, encompassing central docks, the Pier Head, and the Albert Dock.

The museum is to replace the current Museum of Liverpool Life. The future museum, which is presently a £65 million pound project, is to be the situated on the site of the failed "Fourth Grace" building. The "Three Graces" are: the Royal Liverpool Building, the Cunard Building; and the Port of Liverpool Building. The abortive Fourth Grace was a controversial building known as "The Cloud", the brainchild of architect Will Alsop. It was cancelled in July 2004 after local opposition, rising costs and the belief that the design was unrealistic.

The future museum, which will be designed in the shape of an "X", will feature 10,000 square metres of exhibition space on Liverpool's cultural and social history, including present exhibits of the Museum of Liverpool Life.

The two projects are considered integral aspects of Liverpool's successful bid in 2003 for the 2008 European Capital of Culture.