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The client

Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters is an ambitious plan to transform 60 hectares of former dockland along the River Mersey into vibrant, sustainable, mixed use neighbourhoods for the city. Over ten years since the masterplan was first consulted on, Social was appointed to support Peel L&P as they prepare to go back out to public consultation with an updated masterplan. The first step in this journey was to deliver public engagement around the creation of a new public park ‘Central Park’ which sought the views of residents, businesses and other stakeholders about their connections to the waterfront and their aspirations for the new 1.9 hectare park at the heart of Liverpool Waters.  

The challenge

There were several challenges for Peel L&P as they initiated public and stakeholder consultation after a significant hiatus. Firstly, there was a need to raise awareness about Liverpool Waters and the extensive work carried out behind the scenes over the past decade. This involved effectively communicating plans for Central Park and seeking input from a diverse array of stakeholders, including residents, businesses, and politicians. Additionally, the consultation process needed to reach a broad spectrum of community stakeholders, particularly those from seldom heard groups, such as residents in disadvantaged communities. Robust evidence was required to inform the project and support its submission to Liverpool City Council for planning approval. All these tasks needed to be accomplished within stringent timelines, adding to the complexity of the engagement process.

The solution

We created a new consultation website to run alongside the existing Liverpool Waters website outlining the success of the project to date with a separate page detailing plans for Central Park. The website included a new animation telling the story of Liverpool Waters and provided a central ‘hub’ for the consultation allowing people to share their memories of the area and their views of what they would like to see in a new park and how they would use it. This was promoted through the media, through Peel L&P’s social channels and through direct engagement with stakeholders. 

All the promotion directed people to three public events; one at a venue close to the site of the proposed park which offered an additional closed session for key stakeholders; one at a community centre at the heart of the local community and the third within Liverpool Waters itself for existing residents and businesses. 


The impact

The consultation initiative for Liverpool Waters and Central Park included launching a new website and an engaging animation to highlight the project, featured online and on social media. An A5 leaflet was distributed to 2,448 homes and businesses, promoting events and online feedback. Additionally, an emailed PDF leaflet reached all existing residents and businesses. Media releases, social media activity, and invitations to key stakeholders, including local community groups and officials, ensured broad engagement. Three events were held at various locations and times to maximise attendance.

Some key stats include:

  • The website launched on 4 May and was visited by 1,300 unique users between 4-27 May with the greatest number of ‘hits’ on launch day with spikes in visitor numbers following the events 
  • To raise awareness of the consultation of Central Park, we engaged local and regional media with a press release and accompanying images and video. It achieved 47 pieces of coverage 
  • There were 1.2k engagements (combined total of likes, comments and shares on social media platforms) over the 3 week period 
  • We had 157 people attend the events to find out more 
  • We had with 140 responses in total through our ‘Liverpool Waters Let’s Chat’ feedback forms from the in-person events and the online feedback form.