Extensive community consultation and an independent survey of 19,500 households concluded that Liverpool Football Club's new stadium should be built on the eastern side of Stanley Park in Anfield - as a catalyst for the regeneration of the area and to keep the Club in its historic home.
LFC has planning permission for its new stadium and has been working with Liverpool City Council, the local community and English Heritage to ensure that Stanley Park and the Isla Gladstone Conservatory are restored to their former glory and maintained into the future.
Stanley Park is one of Liverpool's most important historic parks, designed by Edward Kemp, and opened in 1870. It was built at a time when living conditions in the surrounding areas of North Liverpool were squalid and unhealthy. The park was built with terraces and lakes, paths and bridges as part of a "ribbon of parks" for "escape and amusement" open to the public. It is a Grade II Park in English Heritage's Register of Parks and Gardens. In recent years it had fallen into disrepair.
Between November 2007 and July 2009 a £14.5 million restoration project has taken place, funded by European and Housing Market Renewal funds via Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Football Club to restore the sandstone terrace and rose garden, the bridges and other architectural features, renew planting with 170,000 new plants and trees, and put back the third lake which had been filled in the 1960s.
The 'jewel in the crown' is the restoration of the conservatory originally named for William Gladstone, the famous Liverpudlian Prime Minister, now named after Isla Gladstone - the wife of Gladstone's son Charles and an artist, textile designer and horticulturalist. Some of her designs are incorporated into the building which now houses a bistro and function space. The bandstand has also been restored and will provide a venue for local groups and schools to perform.