Wheel of Liverpool

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Wheel of Liverpool
Flickr - ronsaunders47 - THE LIVERPOOL "BIG WHEEL". ALBERT DOCK..jpg
General information
StatusComplete
TypeFerris wheel
LocationKeel Wharf waterfront on the River Mersey, Liverpool, UK
Coordinates53°23′54″N 2°59′27″W / 53.39824°N 2.99083°W / 53.39824; -2.99083Coordinates: 53°23′54″N 2°59′27″W / 53.39824°N 2.99083°W / 53.39824; -2.99083
Completed11 February 2010
Opened25 March 2010
Cost£6 million
Height196 feet (60 m)

The Wheel of Liverpool is a transportable Ferris wheel installation on the Keel Wharf waterfront of the River Mersey in Liverpool. Also known as the Echo Wheel of Liverpool due to its close proximity to the Echo Arena Liverpool, the wheel was opened on 25 March 2010. The structure is 196 feet (60 m) tall, weighs 365 tonnes and has 42 fully enclosed capsules attached. The wheel had been planned for three years by the company Great City Attractions. They submitted a planning application which explained that it would increase tourism in Liverpool. A smaller observation wheel had been operational in the city, which was located at the Liverpool One leisure complex. This was dismantled because of the plans to open the Wheel of Liverpool. Construction was completed on 11 February 2010 at a cost of £6 million.

The wheel was closed for a short time following Great City Attractions going into administration. Freij Entertainment International purchased the attraction and it is currently operated by their subsidiary Wheels Entertainments Ltd. In October 2013, the Wheel of Liverpool was struck by lightning but did not sustain any damage.

History[edit]

Planning and opening[edit]

75,000 LED lights illuminate the Wheel of Liverpool at night

In October 2009, it was announced that Great City Attractions had submitted a planning application to install a giant observation wheel on the former King's Dock site of Liverpool. They stated that with the wheel tourism would be increased and it would compliment the city's skyline.[1] The company had been negotiating a deal for three years prior.[2] In 2005, The Liverpool Culture Company had unsuccessfully attempted to secure permission the build a wheel on the Canning Half Tide Dock.[3] While a temporary predecessor had already existed in Liverpool, located on the Liverpool One shopping centre complex. This was closed on 31 January 2010.[4] That wheel had always been acknowledged as a temporary structure because of the city council's aspirations for the Wheel of Liverpool.[5] The attraction had the backing of the Albert Dock Tenants’ Business Association because of the overall waterfront visitor experience it would provide.[5] The application was successful and granted permission to operate for an initial twelve months, later extended to two years.[5][6] Installation began in the days that followed the closure of the Liverpool One Wheel.[7] Its construction was completed on 11 February 2010.[8]

The attraction was opened on 25 March 2010 and had its own launch party.[9] It is located on the piazza of Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool.[10] The official name of the attraction is the "Wheel of Liverpool", though it is also known as the "Echo Wheel of Liverpool".[11][10] In its first year of operation it played host charity event, in which participants remained inside pods while the ride was operated for 24 hours.[12] Despite the initial year contract, the wheel has remained ever since.[13] The Liverpool Echo have claimed that the attraction has been successful and has become a known landmark in Liverpool.[14] In October 2013, the structure was struck by lightning but no damage was confirmed following safety checks.[15]

Design and ownership[edit]

The wheel cost came a cost of six million pounds to manufacture and construct.[2] The structure is 196 feet (60 m) tall and 5 m taller than the Liverpool One Wheel.[11][16] It weighs 365 tonnes and it is supported by six 30 meter columns. 75,000 LED lights were installed to light it during the night.[2] The structure is supported on three-hundred tonnes of water. It was designed to have almost silent operation.[17]

The wheel has 42 fully enclosed capsules attached. They give riders views of the River Mersey, the Welsh mountains and World Heritage Site waterfront at Pier Head.[5] One of the capsules is stylised as a luxury capsule complete with a glass floor.[11] Each pod can carry up to eight passengers and were designed to give a 360 degree panoramic view of the surrounding area. The ride operates in three cycles which takes approximately ten to twelve minutes.[17]

Great City Attractions retained ownership of the wheel for two year until the company went into administration in July 2012.[18] The attraction had to be closed down during August 2012 until a new investor was found.[19] Land owners ACC Liverpool remained in contact with administrators during the closure.[20] The Wheel of Liverpool was acquired by Dubai-based Freij Entertainment International.[21] It is currently operated by their Staffordshire based UK operations subsidiary Wheels Entertainments Ltd.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stewart, Gary (1 October 2009). "Will Liverpool get its very own London Eye?". Liverpool Echo. (Trinity Mirror). Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Official opening for Echo Wheel.(News)". Liverpool Daily Post. (Trinity Mirror via Highbeam Research). 26 March 2010. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2016.(subscription required)
  3. ^ "Liverpool has 'eye' on big wheel". BBC News. (BBC Online). 31 March 2005. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  4. ^ Evans, Natalie (28 January 2010). "Liverpool waterfront set to welcome new big wheel". Click Liverpool. (Mercury Press Agency). Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Miles, Tina (28 January 2010). "Liverpool is set for a new big wheel". Liverpool Echo. (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  6. ^ Miles, Tina (10 February 2011). "City wheel will keep on turning; another year for attraction". Liverpool Echo. (Trinity Mirror via Highbeam Research). Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2016.(subscription required)
  7. ^ "Liverpool will still be reaching for the sky, as a second big wheel heads to the city". Liverpool Echo. (Trinity Mirror). 28 January 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  8. ^ "New wheel lights up the city.(News)". Liverpool Daily Post. (Trinity Mirror via Highbeam Research). 11 February 2010. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2016.(subscription required)
  9. ^ Miles, Tina (11 March 2010). "Liverpool Echo wheel of Liverpool – get VIP tickets for launch day". Liverpool Echo. (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Echo Wheel of Liverpool". kingsdock.com. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  11. ^ a b c "Welcome to the The Wheel of Liverpool". freijwheels.com. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  12. ^ Miles, Tina (16 August 2010). "Hollyoaks stars pledge support for Liverpool's ECHO Wheel 24-hour fundraising challenge". Liverpool Echo. (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Event Details". Liverpool Echo. (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  14. ^ Miles, Tina (30 July 2010). "Freewheelers! Free running crew show off dazzling skills at ECHO Wheel.(News)". Liverpool Echo. (Trinity Mirror via Highbeam Research). Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2016.(subscription required)
  15. ^ Barlow, Eleanor (18 October 2013). "Strike! Dock; Watt a Picture.As Lightning Hits Big Wheel at Kings Dock". Liverpool Echo. (Trinity Mirror via Highbeam Research). Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2016.(subscription required)
  16. ^ "Fairground family bring Liverpool One Wheel to city.(News)". Liverpool Daily Post. (Trinity Mirror via Highbeam Research). 10 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2016.(subscription required)
  17. ^ a b "The Wheel of Liverpool". Ticket Quarter. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Company which ran Plymouth Eye big wheel on Hoe has stopped trading". The Herald. (Local World). 10 August 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Wheel of Liverpool Re-Opens to Public". Liverpool Echo. (Trinity Mirror via Highbeam Research). 25 August 2012. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2016.(subscription required)
  20. ^ "Wheel Be Back". Liverpool Daily Post. (Trinity Mirror via Highbeam Research). 2 August 2012. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2016.(subscription required)
  21. ^ "The Hoe's big wheel will stay in Plymouth until at least 2014". The Herald. (Local World). 5 April 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  22. ^ Parkinson, Shelagh (10 April 2013). "Big wheel plans for Prom". Blackpool Gazette. (Johnston Press). Retrieved 24 July 2016.

External links[edit]