I’ve been thinking about Granby this week. Talking about it too, along with several of us there who were involved in setting up the Community Land Trust a few years back. We’ve been talking to a journalist is all I’ll say and you’ll be able to read what we said within the next couple of weeks.
For today my thinking took me to the first Granby Street Market of the year. The first ever, in fact, to be run in February. And what a February day it was. ‘Dreich’ I’d be saying if I were Scottish. Dreich anyway. Off the 86 bus on Upper Parliament and through to Granby Street. Past the side street names that still remember all the gone now original streets of the area. Mostly cleared from the 1970s on and replaced with various kinds of newness over the years since.
The shop sign here says it all. ‘African, West Indian, Chinese, Greek, Arabian, Asian, English.’ We’re all here and Granby, as it always has, welcomes the lot of us. Over time and changes this has always been somewhere in Liverpool that says ‘Welcome.’
And we’re welcome today at the Street Market.
Where there is, of course, much more than drumming going on. But the several of us I mentioned are getting photographed today for the soon coming newspaper article, so not many photographs get taken by me.
After we’ve done our posing about in the thankfully mild rain, Mark the photographer from the paper asks if he can come and have a look at the Neighbouring Welsh Streets. So we cross Princes Avenue together.
Except for the developer’s nice signage several of the streets over here still look like they have for years, empty.
But the developer’s are actually well on with what they’re doing.
This is Powis Street, besmirched with grimy paint these last few years for its part as the backdrop in ‘Peaky Blinders.’ To its own surprise, because these streets were all down for demolition, the paint is now being removed ready for them to become people’s homes again.
People, you see, do want to live in homes like these and in Granby, whatever might have been said by so many authorities, housing associations and other would be redevelopers over the years.
So I’m really pleased to see this happening over here. A testament to everyone who campaigned for so long. What doesn’t please me is that all the houses are going for private rent, and high private rents at that, even if the developer does describe them as ‘fair.’
It’s complicated, maybe, and worth a longer think one day. But now it’s back over to Granby, where the mixture of rents and purchase prices really are much more like what I’d call properly affordable.
Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust and then Plus Dane houses here.
The CLT Winter Gardens on site in Cairns Street.
And Ducie Street. Still waiting but which apparently now has a City Council preferred developer, at long last. More than that I don’t know yet. Like a start date, development plans and sale or rent costs? But on the move anyway, which is better than waiting to fall down.
Because people do want to live around here in houses like this. Like we’ve always said when thinking about Granby, Welsh Streets too.
And don’t worry, when the newspaper article comes out I’ll be letting you know. We’ve all thought a lot about the things we’ve said.