Liverpool

Residents preview restored Garden Festival site

Liverpool Festival Gardens
Image caption Festival Gardens is expected to open within four to six weeks

People who live near the site of Liverpool's restored garden festival site were invited in for a sneak preview of the park on Saturday.

Developers Langtree hope the 90-acre venue, in Otterspool, will open to the public in the next four to six weeks.

The site hosted the International Garden Festival in 1984, but has been out of use since 1997.

It has now undergone a £4.5m redevelopment project, with many of its original features being restored.

The site's Chinese pagodas, Japanese gardens and water features are back up and running.

More than three million people visited the garden festival which was billed as a "five-month pageant of horticultural excellence and spectacular entertainment".

Built on a former refuse dump it contained more than 60 individual gardens from countries around the world, a festival hall, public pavilions and miniature railway.

The site has been derelict since 1997 when Pleasure Island, a leisure and entertainment facility that occupied the site, closed.

City council leader Joe Anderson and Langtree development director Stephen Barnes were at the Festival Gardens site to welcome local residents.

Mr Barnes said: "It's been a long road, with plenty of potholes along the way, but we are pleased and proud to say that we have now completed work on Festival Gardens.

"We felt it was important to mark the occasion properly and thank our neighbours for their consistent support and patience throughout the project.

"Each and every guest seemed genuinely impressed with what we've achieved, which is crucial as this park will be their legacy."

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