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Down to Earth

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Liverpool's prospects of getting its 'cloud' or Fourth Grace scheme in time for its European City of Culture year in 2008 is looking up. It seems that the North West Regional Development Agency is pulling the stops out to deliver its £50 million commitment to the project. The Museum of Liverpool Life, which has huge numbers of items in store due to lack of display space, is ready to become a key tenant of the Will Alsop building and there is talk that Apple might establish an official Beatles archive there; tentative talks are under way to see if a masterplanning link can be established between this museum and the maritime museum nearby; and the British Waterways Board (BWB) is looking at fresh ways to animate the various docks next to the Fourth Grace site. BWB is already committed to opening up a canal in front of the 'graces' buildings, allowing craft to access the most historic part of the Liverpool dock system.What has been little remarked on (at least down south) is the forthcoming extension of the dock berth in front of the 'graces', which will allow, for the first time, the biggest liners in the world to disembark there.With the massive Grosvenor Estate city-centre retail scheme heading for reality, Liverpool could be on a real roll at last.

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