Albert Dock Liverpool has been granted the prestigious title Royal in recognition of the pivotal role it continues to play in the city's fortunes.
The iconic destination attraction - which is located on Liverpool's UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront, and home to the largest group of Grade I listed buildings in the country - changes its name from today (June 6, 2018) to The Royal Albert Dock Liverpool. This honour acknowledges the high standards represented by Albert Dock and highlights the numerous current and former sovereigns who have recognised the importance of the Dock both for its historical and architectural significance and its place within Liverpool.
Albert Dock requested Royal status as part of its preparations for a year of celebration in 2021 - 175 years since the Dock was officially opened by Albert, Prince Consort in 1846. The next three years aim to assert the Dock’s position as a world-class, leisure destination for the visitors of the future, and a heritage asset that needs to be preserved and protected for future generations. Receiving Royal status marks a monumental milestone and endorses this vision.
Lord-lieutenant of Merseyside, Mr Mark Blundell, said:
"We recognise the important role Albert Dock has played in the history of this magnificent maritime city, its significance as an exemplary of pioneering architectural design and waterfront regeneration, and its Royal links with sovereigns past and present. We also identify the key role it will play in the future prosperity of Liverpool and the Liverpool City Region. Congratulations to Albert Dock and long may it reign.”
Sue Grindrod, chief executive, The Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, called the news a "game-changer" for both the Dock, the city and wider Liverpool City Region. She commented:
"I cannot tell you how happy we are that Her Majesty The Queen has bestowed this honour on Albert Dock. It marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the Dock's history, highlighting the important role heritage tourism can play within the city and city region context, and firmly repositioning the Dock on the international stage.
“It is also a tribute to the pioneering vision of the original Dock designer, Jesse Hartley, to Leonard Eppel and Michael Heseltine who helped shape its rebirth in the 1980s, and to the significant role the Dock has played in the history of this great city.”
Aberdeen Standard Investments took control of Albert Dock's commercial interests in 2016, and a year later unveiled a long-term vision which aims to reinvent the Dock with a progressive and evolving retail and food offer.
Simon Moscow, of Aberdeen Standard Investments, welcomed the Royal news, saying:
"The realisation of The Royal Albert Dock Liverpool is such an incredible moment for everyone involved. The future of the Dock is looking very bright and we are proud to be part of it.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“It is fantastic for Albert Dock to be recognised in this way. The new Royal status is a vote of confidence in an attraction that has become an iconic representation of not just Liverpool city centre’s recent renaissance but the continuing success of the Liverpool City Region as a whole.”
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said:
“This is fantastic news. Albert Dock holds a special place in the heart of Liverpool and this Royal recognition solidifies the significance of the Dock in this country and around the world. The regal stamp of approval is a reflection of this city’s heritage and cultural importance and I am thrilled at this news."
The announcement is being greeted at a special event held today (June 6, 2018) at Tate Liverpool, where The High Sheriff of Merseyside, Peter Woods Esq DL, is to hand over official notice of Royal status. Hosted by The Royal Albert Dock Liverpool and Aberdeen Standard Investments, civic leaders will gather to hear about how the Dock is responding to the 2017 Heseltine Institute report, which highlighted recommendations for the long-term future of this much-loved destination attraction. Professor Michael Parkinson will facilitate the event, with the Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram and Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, cllr Gary Millar, as special guests.