WINNER – eccentric idea of the year!

We are OVERJOYED to have been thought worthy of being nominated in the Sense of Place Liverpool Awards……….

……….and we couldn’t think of an award we would more like to win than

Eccentric idea of the year

Friends of the Flyover, Monkey Map, Post Code Honey, Liverpool Giants (plus memories of the Liverpool spider).

Explaining that I mean ‘eccentric’ as a good thing. An idea so good that you look at it and think ‘Where did that one come from?’ – we set about discussing which of these add the most to Liverpool. Sarah’s ‘Monkey Map’ website, her mission to log every monkey puzzle tree on Earth from her Liverpool base, was as ever fascinating to all and rightly recognised as an ongoing mission of breathtaking eccentricity. But no more about Liverpool than it’s about everywhere else where the trees grow.

So awarding this one to the Friends of the Flyover for the richness their idea will add to Liverpool life was an easy decision for us all. One of the very best days of the year was the day the flyovers were closed to traffic and we all tried the idea out by going for a play around on the skyroads. It’ll cost less to make this idea a reality than it would to knock the things down. So let’s get on with doing it so before long the flyovers are competing for Place of the Year at future Liverpool Awards.

Winner – Friends of the Flyoverflyover29



northern futures info graphic

Firmly on the agenda!

We’ve certainly gone up in the world a little recently – with both Crowd Funding and citizen-led public space projects catching the attention of local and national government

We took part in the recent Northern Futures Ideas Day in Liverpool that was set up as a one of a series of events around the north to capture citizen’s ideas for improving wealth and prosperity outside of the capital.  The day was a great networking opportunity and a chance to brainstorm ideas with people we knew and some we didn’t too!  One of our favourite collaborators – Elaine Cresswell from reShaped, pitched an idea of co-ordinated and facilitated use of meanwhile spaces and it was taken up as one of only 9 ideas presented to the Northern Futures Summit – watch her presentation her at 1:33:20


The Flyover is one of Elaine’s examples of citizen-led use of space and our Flyover Fest and our plans for our Promo Phase are firmly on the agenda of ODPM and this fabulous project which will be rolled out in the new year!

We’ve also made it to the Prime Minister’s press releases this month too as he Hails the Rise of Civic Crowdfunding


The Flyover Fest success

Thank you all very much for assisting!

Flyover Fest 2014

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Group ‘humbled’ after raising funds for city flyover feasibility study | in Liverpool Echo 16/04/14

By Eleanor Barlow

Friends of the Flyover raised the £40,861 needed to carry out study

Friends of the Flyover team

Friends of The Flyover, from left to right, Mark Bennett, Kate Stewart and Steve Threlfall jump for joy after their crowdsourcing campaign to raise money for a feasibility study into turning Churchhill Way Flyover into a multi-use pedestrianised walkway reached its £40k target at the 11th hour. Photo by James Maloney

A group hoping to transform a city flyover said members were “humbled” after raising the funds for a feasibility study of the project.

Friends of the Flyover raised the £40,861 needed to carry out a feasibility study on turning the Churchill flyover into a “promenade in the sky”.

The group is made up of Kate Stewart, founder of city retailer made-here, Steve Threlfall, from Different, and Mark Bennett, associate architect at Michael Cunningham Architects.

It was set up after the city council’s 2012 investment and growth blueprint for Liverpool proposed demolishing the Churchill flyover, which runs from Islington, past Central Library and the World Museum though to Dale Street.

Mr Threlfall said: “Wow! Little did we know when we first aired the idea for the flyover how much our city would get behind us and from all quarters.

“I can speak for myself, Mark and Kate to say we are humbled by the energy and support that our campaign has attracted.

“So many individuals from the city and beyond have made pledges, with their desire to see this become reality.

“This energy has also come from key stakeholders in the public and private sector.

“We are amazed how 60% of the funding in this campaign has been raised by hundreds of individuals reaching into their pockets.”

The project proposes turning the roads into cyclist and pedestrian-friendly routes with planting, kiosks, cafes, lighting and power infrastructure in a scheme modelled on New York’s High Line.

The money needed for the feasibility study was raised through a crowd funding website.

Mr Threlfall added: “The project has high aspirations from humble beginnings, three citizens with a desire to work with the city, inviting people and organizations to have a say in the shaping of our public space.

“The energy we have seen in this campaign, face-to-face meetings, social media and encounters on the street tell us how amazing this project can and will be.

“There’s still quite a journey ahead – we’re excited and energised by how many people will be on it with us.”

Ms Stewart said about 200 donations had been made in the last 24 hours before the deadline for reaching their funding goal.

The ambitious plans would also include a programme of cultural events and could include a “theatre in the round” behind the World Museum.

If it goes ahead the work would cost between £2m and £3m to complete, with the group looking to raise some money from donations from individuals and companies and getting other funding from the public sector.



By Helen Hunt

The Friends of the Flyover hold festival which showcases their ambitious plans for urban park

Hundreds of people turned out to enjoy a street festival held on a flyover in Liverpool city centre.

Churchill Way was closed off to traffic but open to people who were entertained with music and song in the sunshine.

The event, held by the Friends of the Flyover, was a chance for them to show off their ambitious plans to transform the structure into a new urban park.

The Friends group was set up after the city’s 2012 Strategic Investment Framework (SIF) proposed the removal of the Churchill flyover which runs from Islington, past Central Library and the World Museum though to Dale Street.

Ukulele Club performance with World Museum at the background

Ukulele Club performance with Dale St at the background

Flyover Fest overview

Scrap tall bike at Dale St

Organisers were encouraging as many people as possible to sign up to become a friend and help make their project a reality.

The Friends are proposing turning the roads into cyclist and pedestrian-friendly routes with kiosks and cafes.

Earlier, a spokesman for the group said: “The space will offer the potential for animation activities such as theatre, music, art, cafes, allotments, cycle paths etc, in the same way as New York’s High Line, which has become a visitor attraction in its own right.”

This article first appeared on Liverpool Echo website. On their link there is also a video from the day of the event available.


Liverpool residents plan to turn flyover into a community park and events space| in Gizmag 08/07/2014

By Stu Robarts

Flyover from above, Liverpool

A project in Liverpool, UK, is aiming to turn a flyover that is due to be demolished into a community park and events space

Many projects in cities across the world have reclaimed disused areas to transform them into community spaces. New York’s High Line and Sydney’s Goods Line are two such examples. Now, a project in Liverpool, UK, hopes to transform a flyover into a urban park and alternative events space.

Friends of the Flyover is the brainchild of Kate Stewart and Steve Threlfall (whose Made Here business provides people from Liverpool with a means of buying work by local designers, artists and makers), as well as education and social housing architect Mark Bennett. Their interest in community can be also seen in their involvement with the city’s Churchill Way flyover. Stewart explains that plans laid out by the local council and economic development body to improve the surrounding area would effectively starve the flyover of traffic and make it redundant.

With the costs for demolishing the structure estimated at £3-4 million (US$5.1-6.8 million), the friends began looking at alternative approaches. “At the moment, the flyover cuts off the communities in north Liverpool and there is also a historic community that was fragmented when Gerard Gardens was demolished,” Stewart tells Gizmag. “We felt that turning the flyover into an elevated urban park would enable residents both in the city center and in the north to engage with a basically forgotten area of the city.”

Friends of the Flyover's vision of the Churchill flyover

Designs were produced for the, “creation of a pedestrian and cycle-friendly promenade in the sky.” The designs include cafes, raised beds for planting, allotments tended by the local community, independent retail kiosks and market stalls. Additional power infrastructure and Wi-Fi access would be added and regular events, such as gigs and farmers’ markets, would be held.

The plans also include the development of an outreach and education program with the nearby National Museums Liverpool and the creation of a new trust or community interest company to manage and maintain the redeveloped structure.

Stewart explains that when the plans were released earlier this year, there was a huge positive response from both the local community and from further afield. “We feel a great sense of responsibility to deliver the project now for ‘the crowd,’ not just for ourselves,” she says.

Following the release of the designs and their good reception, a crowd-funding campaign was launched to raise money for a feasibility study. The requisite funds were successfully raised and the money is being used for identifying and exploring business models, producing detailed plans and designs, working through legalities, developing a vision and program of events and engaging local residents.

artists studios on Churchill Way

This weekend sees the group’s first big public invitation event, aimed primarily at “reclaiming” the space. The flyover will be closed to traffic, as it is eventually planned to be for good, and it will play host to music, food, art, theater and workshops. The initial designs for the redeveloped flyover will be on display as part of the public consultation for feedback on the plans.

Also at the event, a scheme allowing people to become a supporter of the project, or a “Friend of the Flyover,” will be launched. The scheme will allow people to sign up at various levels for different benefits, such as by donating for future work on the project or simply staying up-to-date with it.

“The next two months will be crazy busy for us,” says Stewart. “We will be visiting more community groups and involving them with the design briefing process and doing a lot of detailed design work.”

In addition to that, the team will be working on structural assessments and creating a business plan to prove the sustainability of the project in the long-term. The group’s aim is to agree on a legal structure and the right ownership or leasing mechanism in order to move forward. The next major milestones will see work begin, with improvements carried out to the pedestrian walkways and to the “landing stage” areas around the structure.

This publication first appeared on the Gizmag website.



By David Lloyd

Churchill Way Flyover Liverpool Proposal by We Make Liverpool


It’s not official yet, but it’s inching closer: the Churchill Flyovers’ future as an elevated wonderland of herb gardens, herbaceous borders and hot coffee is looking like it might, just might get off the ground.

So, go this Sunday and get a taster of the shape of things that may come. While we worry and fret about Heaps Mill, student flats and Liverpool Waters, it’s good to see real grass-roots action taking flight. Who knows, with a little wind under them (and a couple of million quid) we might all be walking in the air one day.

Flyover Fest, Sunday 13th, will see buskers, street food (appropriately, for once), art, crafts and workshops: have your say on the shape of things to come, and see the results, live, thanks to on-the-spot computer visualisations. Like Time Team – but of the future.

More than anything, though, this weekend is a chance for you to show your support to the amazing folk making this one of the most exciting regeneration projects in the city.

Flyover Fest
Churchill Flyover (Dale Street)
July 13 (12-5pm)

This publication first appeared on the Seven Streets website.


Flyover Fest this weekend, Liverpool, 13th July, 12 – 5pm

Come Down to a Free Event & Support a Great Project


What better way is there to spend your Sunday, than with a full on Flyover Fest for free from 12 – 5pm? Enjoy performances and busker sets from Vanessa Murray, Dominic Dunn, We The Undersigned, She Drew The Gun and the wonderful Ukulele Club Liverpool as well as a free busking site.

You can also join Trev & Angie of Impropriety providing tours with completely fabricated stories about things that never happened on the Flyover…or did they?

Add this to great food, street arts, travelling minstrels and birds of prey, Sunday will be a day to elevate all of your expectations when it comes to a party on a bit of road.

“The Friends of the Flyover project is one of the most exciting things to happen to Liverpool in a very long time, make sure you’re there to show your support and experience a great day for all ages.” – Chris Herstad Carney, Threshold Festival.

This article first appeared on the Open Culture Merseyside Arts & Culture website.


Friends of the Flyover | in Independent Liverpool 27/05/2014

This could be Rotterdam or anywhere, Liverpool or Rome.

They say travelling broadens the mind and what started off as pleasure soon turned into something much more than that when Kate, Mark and Steve holidayed in the cobbled streets of Rotterdam. Some argue three’s a crowd but this trio are a perfect mis-mash of all skills rehired Kate Stewart, owner of the boldly independent ‘Made Here’ has always been someone influenced by the arts and at the forefront of making Liverpool great is the retailer. Steve Threlfall is the founder of ‘Different’ and has had design running through his blood since he can remember so it only made sense he was the designer. Mark Bennett makes up the rest of the team as the 20 something year experienced architect who’s ability to envisage is much needed. Inspired by the creative citizens and the activists of the city, they spent their days as tourists and their evenings as strategists as they vowed to take the inspiration from Rotterdam back home to Liverpool. One of those very ideas was to revamp and re-purpose the flyover which the city council had proposed demolishing and, as a consequence, create a cultural asset that we can all be proud of. Most people believe they took a bite out of the big green apple when it comes to the aesthetics being so similarly aligned to the New York high line but rest assured this metamorphosis came naturally.

The 2012 SIF (Strategic Investment Framework) document for the city proposes removals that would run up estimated costs between £3-4million without arguably any return. Dank and unattractive routes are understandably threatening to any city, both on the eye and potentially on the body so the proposal is met with some rationale. Rather than plunge millions into destroying it, the quandary led the chaps behind the project to reimagine its potential. In a nutshell, they want to redesign it into an urban park, fit with cafes, planting, allotments, pedestrian routes, small studios for artists and a heck of a lot more. We can only imagine such a hub of creativity, an oasis fit for any tourist or local. Most people believe they took a bite out of the big green apple when it comes to the aesthetics being so similarly aligned to the New York high line but rest assured this metamorphosis came naturally.

Churchill Way overview

Churchill Way overview

The crowd funding campaign to access feasibility of their dream officially started on January 6th 2014 and quickly captured the interests of a lot of people. In total they were asking for £40k but managed to raise just over £43k as of course the good people of Liverpool and beyond dug into their back pockets and gave what they could. A modern day and touching example of the effect of what a collective conscience can achieve. The day they reached their target they were filming a ‘thank you’ video underneath the Flyover and had just finished when a guy cycling past shouted down; “Hey guys, congratulations, well done!”. It is rare that complete strangers can enter our lives as mysteriously as they leave whilst having profound and everlasting moments with them. It was at that moment they realised they were custodians of his dream and everybody else’s, as well as their own.

Friends of the Flyover

Churchill Way from above

The money raised will be used to assess the structure by Curtins Consulting Engineers, a local firm with a national profile that will be a integral part of the feasibility study. The Friends of the Flyover philosophy of involving the local community as much as possible has also been a notable factor for their success as they are setting up engagement sessions with local residents and businesses. The priority is to be realistic, this is a huge project and before it becomes a part of city life, much needed physical improvements are at the top of that very long list. They did a great project for LightNight recently which was supported by Zumtobel lighting and involved 4 teams of people experimenting with architectural light fittings to see how they could change the feel of the spaces on the walkways and the landing stages around them. One of the great moments was when the public were invited onto the space at 10pm and it suddenly had a new life – the kind of life we envisage for it in the future, with a little more hustle and bustle than is usually there.

Friends of the Flyover's vision of the Churchill flyover

Churchill Way Theatre, by the Friends of the Flyover

The success of the evening has resulted in planning a much larger day time event for the summer which will invite the public to come and see the designs they have so far and interact with them giving a chance for people to offer their own ideas and aspirations. The whole project is extremely exciting and has been noticed up by the likes of The Independent and reaching the proposed total to make feasibility checks was the great big first domino being pushed. Be warned, in no way have they reached their apex, this is just the start. With a few licks of paint, or albeit a lot of licks of paint, the blank canvas that is the flyover has been visualised to be much more than that by just three passionate and artistic people. It is safe to say their imagination has spread like wild fire, the recycling rather than destruction of the area is innovative and will hopefully be a model practiced a lot throughout the city which will spur many inhabited wastelands into thriving promenades.

Friends of the Flyover teach us a very modern lesson based on a well-known saying; if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, re-purpose it.

Visit their website here, follow them on twitter here.

This publication first appeared on the Independent Liverpool website.


Derelict flyover to be reclaimed for residents in Liverpool | in European Mobility week 22/05/2014

More than £40,000 (€49,000) has been raised through a crowd-funding drive, allowing the “Friends of the Flyover” campaign to move forward in transforming the disused flyover for local residents. Campaigners aim to install cafes, markets, shops, recreation areas and community gardening projects along the length of in the centre of Liverpool.

Additionally, the flyover will carry a pedestrian and cycle path to connect areas in the north of Liverpool with the city centre and link various cultural sites in Liverpool’s heritage quarter. Liverpool City Council is supporting the campaign, whose central argument is that the cost of demolishing the flyover is far higher than refurbishing it for communities nearby.

“We are delighted that so many people have supported this idea and that we’re now in a position to move forward with the next stage of the flyover,” said Kate Stewart, co-founder of the campaign. “We’re also grateful for the support of the council and the many local and national businesses that have become involved financially and by giving time and expertise.”

For more information, click here.

This publication first appeared on European Mobility week website.