LIDL at the Abbey - tell us what YOU think
On 7th April, Lidl announced their intention of demolishing the former Abbey Cinema - which they purchased from Co-operative Foodstores a year ago, at a price of £1.44 million - and replacing it with what they describe as "a unique and high quality building ... providing a modern fit for purpose foodstore". Lidl are inviting comments from the local community before submitting a planning application to Liverpool City Council, and have launched a special website for this purpose.

Left: An image from the website

'A new Lidl store for Wavertree'

The Wavertree Society will be submitting comments in due course, and we'd welcome an input from our members. We know that local residents have very strong - and very mixed - feelings about the plan. Our Facebook page attracted almost 100 comments within 48 hours of the announcement. Many people want the existing Art Deco building to be renovated, but Lidl say that it is "beyond economic repair"; their survey has revealed major structural defects, caused by water corroding the steel frame beneath the brickwork. (We have asked to see a copy of the surveyor's report).

An application for Listing of the building was submitted, last August, by SAVE Britain's Heritage. The government's decision on this is currently awaited. Lidl have said that in the event of the building being Listed they will "seek to work with the appropriate authorities to find a workable and viable future solution". Our own standpoint is that Wavertree needs a supermarket on this site - the existing building having functioned as such for almost 40 years. Also, the site deserves a building of the highest quality, bearing in mind its key position within the Wavertree Village Conservation Area. While Lidl maintain that their proposal "reflects the design of the former cinema", we feel that they could do a lot better. In fact Lidl buildings elsewhere in the UK prove that they can do better than the images (such as the one above) so far supplied.

Lidl say that they are committed to working with, and listening to ideas from, the local community. They have already met our Committee 'virtually', and have offered to meet with us again.  Please take a look at their website at
- or, if you live locally, await the delivery of Lidl's promised information leaflet - and respond to the questionnaire. Please also let us know what you think. What features - architectural or otherwise - should we be asking for in any new building? If the existing building is to be retained, what uses could be incorporated within it?

Forward your views to any Committee member, or email

For more images from the Lidl website, go to the next page.
See also our Previous Newsletter article (May 2020): Abbey Cinema building NEWS EXTRA

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