A £10 million entertainment hub is set to open in the old Debenham’s building on the corner of Liverpool ONE later this year.
The city centre venue will house a multi-level GTE-karting track, an augmented reality bowling alley, urban golf course, an outside rooftop space and more.
Owners Gravity Active Entertainment say it is their largest venue yet at 100,000 sq ft and aim for it to become one of the UK’s leading leisure and entertainment destinations.
Michael Harrison, co-founder at Gravity, commented: “We are particularly excited about Liverpool ONE, as it is our debut in the heart of a city centre.”
Liverpool City Council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for proposals in February.
At the time, Cllr Billy Lake expressed concerns, questioning whether the plans were being rushed through as the site had been vacant less than 12 months.
He said the site represented “the opening of our prime retail venue” and referring to the addition of the go-kart track, Cllr Lake asked if the amendments would turn “the city centre into an amusement arcade?”
Lauren Neary, of planning consultants Avison Young, said “extensive marketing” had been undertaken by landlords Grosvenor, who had been unable to find a retailer willing to take the whole unit.
Committee chair Cllr Tony Concepcion said there was no desire for the site to remain empty and “in many ways, we’re in a different world post pandemic and the way people shop is changing, and we need to address that.”
Welcoming the application, Cllr Concepcion said it would be a “positive change for the city” and would introduce a leisure element to the retail area.