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Lidl GB is excited to announce plans to open a new supermarket in Wavertree, on the site of the former Co-op on Church Road North. The store will have a unique and bespoke design, which is intended to pay tribute to the former cinema building.

Extensive surveys have been undertaken which have found that the former cinema building has not been properly maintained over many years. It is now beyond economic repair.

Before submitting a planning application to Liverpool City Council, Lidl would like to hear the community’s thoughts on the plans. We are committed to public consultation and are delighted to therefore provide this opportunity for local residents to review the development plans.

This website provides details of the planning application which will be submitted to Liverpool City Council shortly. If you have any questions about the proposals, please email or call 0800 089 0361. To ‘Have Your Say’ on the proposals, please click here.

Click play for a tour of the proposed new Lidl Wavertree store

What’s proposed?

  • Lidl is proposing to replace the existing building with a new bespoke supermarket in Wavertree, with a 1,121 sq m net sales area
  • The building will be two storeys tall, to include warehouse space and colleague welfare areas on the first floor
  • The foodstore will create up to 30 new local jobs
  • 69 customer parking spaces, along with cycle and motorcycle parking
  • Two Electric Vehicle charging points
  • Latest specification in-store facilities, including Lidl’s popular bakery, longer style tills with dual packing and customer toilets

When Lidl purchased the building, they were not granted access to survey the structure or upper floors. Lidl has since completed all necessary surveys and these have found that the building has been poorly maintained over many years and that it is unfortunately not viable to renovate the building.

Therefore, we are proposing to build a unique, specially-designed, high-quality store appropriate to this sensitive location within the Wavertree Village Conservation Area.

3D visual of proposed Lidl store 3D visual of proposed Lidl store
The former Abbey Cinema banner

Why we can’t keep the old cinema building

The former Abbey Cinema

Co-op approached Lidl to sell the building. Since the Co-op closed their doors for the last time, in April 2020, Lidl has undertaken a variety of extensive surveys to fully understand the quality and condition of the building and to assess how it could be best utilised for future use for the local area.

This preparation work led us to the conclusion that the building would need to be replaced with a new modern, purpose-built store. The reasons for this are:

  • It is clear that the building has been poorly maintained over very many years
  • As a result of poor maintenance, the building, internally and externally is in bad condition
  • The building’s steel frame is corroding
  • The structure of the feature corner above the entrance is beyond repair
  • The building is obsolete, with upstairs space which has limited prospect for viable future commercial use.

It is simply not economically viable to restore the building and retain it as a supermarket.

We understand that the proposed demolition of the building may be disappointing to some people, however, we will invigorate the site with a unique, modern replacement store to serve the local community and provide jobs.

The former Abbey Cinema exterior
The former Abbey Cinema ceiling
The former Abbey Cinema interior brickwork

History of the Abbey Cinema

The former Abbey Cinema Timeline


  • The cinema opened on 4th March 1939 and seated 1,870 people on ground and upper levels
  • In March 1964, the cinema was converted to a Cinerama Theatre, with a giant curve screen and a new projection suite with three Cinerama cameras. The cinema capacity was reduced to 1,260 people
  • Cinerama screenings ceased in 1971 and the Abbey Cinema closed for good in 1979
  • Following its closure the entrance foyer, stalls seats and staircases were destroyed, and the auditorium substantially altered, as the ground floor was converted into a Supermarket. Five years later the remaining upper level of the building was converted and opened as a bingo hall
  • Further amendments were made to the upper floor when the bingo hall was converted into a Rileys Snooker Club. We have also learnt that squash courts were also installed at one point in the building’s history. All of these uses have had an impact on the building interior and show just how difficult it is to find a viable use for the upper-levels of the building
  • The upper levels have been empty since Rileys closed a few years back and have fallen into a state of disrepair. In April 2020 Co-op closed the supermarket on the ground floor
  • In April 2020 Co-op closed the supermarket on the ground floor.
The former Abbey Cinema interior brickwork
The former Abbey Cinema balcony view
The former Abbey Cinema interior windows and ceiling

Historic England listing process

Lidl is aware of Historic England’s recent decision to list the building. We are now considering next steps.

The former Abbey Cinema interior


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the general condition of the building, we are unable to allow people an opportunity to view the site and see for themselves the poor state it is in.

Instead, we commissioned a specialist photographer to produce a video (produced before the most recent lockdown) so that you can have a virtual tour of the building without needing to leave the comfort of your home! The video guides us around the former Co-op and into the old snooker hall and auditorium. Click play on the video to join the virtual tour.

Aerial of the site

As well as a video, we have a collection of images which show the current condition of the inside of the building and demonstrate the level of unfortunate disrepair it is in.

Click on the cameras or drones on the aerial below for more information.

Lidl products


Site Plan

Lidl is proposing to build a unique and high quality building, reflecting the design of the former cinema, but providing a modern fit for purpose foodstore.

The new store will include:

  • A two-storey building, with the 1,121 sq m (net sales area) supermarket at ground level and warehouse space and colleague welfare areas on the first floor
  • 69 parking spaces, including five disabled spaces, five parent & child spaces and two Electric Vehicle charging points
  • Latest in-store facilities, including Lidl’s popular bakery, longer-style tills with dual packing and customer toilets
  • New landscaping around the site
  • Up to 30 new full and part-time jobs, with a starting rate of £9.50 per hour. Lidl do not operate zero hours contracts
  • Solar panels on the roof of Lidl to help meet the store’s energy needs.

A new, modern Lidl store on this site will provide a spacious and attractive shopping environment, delivering a great range of Lidl’s high quality and affordable produce. The store will bring a much-needed food retailer back to Wavertree, helping residents to meet their shopping needs in the local area.

3D visual of proposed Lidl store 3D visual of proposed Lidl Store from Childwall Road


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Traffic impact

Our planning application will include a detailed Transport Assessment, which will be reviewed by Liverpool City Council’s Highways Team. The Transport Assessment will take into consideration issues such as Lidl’s expected busiest periods.

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The site is well-located in the heart of the community and is well connected to the wider local footpath network.

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Lidl will provide cycle parking in a highly visible location at front of the store.

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Bus Services

The site is well-located for the bus network, next to local bus stops on Childwall Road and Church Road North.

Lidl products

Key benefits


Everyone knows we’re Lidl on price. So, it’s time to tell you what we’re Big on.

We’re Big on Quality. Big on the big shop. Big on all the things that matter. Big on the things that make cupboards and bellies and life feel fuller. Big on detergent that gets your socks white and cheese that knocks them off. Big on carrots that crunch and chillies with bite. Big on cuisine from far and wide, and meat from local farmers. Big on brands and biscuits and baby stuff and bicycle pumps and butter. We’re Big on everything.

Except of course, on price, because that’s where we’ll always be Lidl.

Big on quality, Lidl on price
Lidl sign


Lidl first opened its doors in Great Britain in 1994 and currently has over 25,000 employees, 800 stores and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales. Lidl takes pride in providing top quality products at low prices.

The Lidl retail philosophy is focused on simplicity and maximum efficiency at every stage of the business, from supplier to customer, enabling the company to sell high quality own brand and well-known products at low prices.


Lidl is committed to sourcing high quality fresh meat, poultry, fruit and veg from British farms. We work closely with Red Tractor to ensure that our British meat, poultry, fruit and veg is responsibly sourced to strict food hygiene, animal welfare and environmental standards, with every pack traceable to the farm of origin. This guarantees our customers a fresh, locally sourced, high quality range of meat and poultry at excellent value.


Lidl GB sells over 50 different Fairtrade certified products, from bananas originating from Colombia, tea picked in Kenya and cocoa for our chocolate, grown in Cote d’Ivoire. In addition to the products we sell all year round, we proudly support specific Fairtrade campaigns such as Fairtrade Fortnight. This is an opportunity to give a voice to farmers and growers throughout the world.

Lidl Staff and Customer


  • The new store is expected to create up to 30 new full and part-time jobs for local people. This is in addition to the temporary jobs created during construction of the store
  • Lidl increased the wages of all hourly-paid staff in March 2021, ensuring that employees remain amongst the best paid in the industry. This means that the entry-level hourly pay will increase to £9.50 per hour, above the Government Living Wage. Lidl does not operate zero hour contracts.


The new Wavertree store would feature our famous ‘Middle of Lidl’ products. Our ever-changing middle aisle offers customers the opportunity to purchase non-food household items at bargain prices. Click here to see this week’s offers.

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Lidl food


The proposed store will meet Lidl’s high sustainability standards which are intended to minimise environmental impact over the lifetime of the store.

  • Our delivery vehicles are used to remove waste from the store on their return journey to the nearest Regional Distribution Centre, where the waste/recyclable material is sorted and managed centrally. This also helps to reduce vehicle trips and CO2 emissions
  • Lidl lead the sector in terms of recycling and waste to landfill reduction by recycling all paper/cardboard and plastic waste produced by their stores
  • Store heating and lighting are controlled by a computerised Building Management System (BMS). This minimises energy consumption by adapting to external temperatures and lighting levels
  • The chilled food cabinets incorporate night blinds which trap the chilled air and reduce overnight energy consumption
  • Lidl refrigeration plant has low carbon emissions ratings and operates without the need for chlorofluorocarbons
  • Lidl stores use a manual dock leveller for deliveries, which reduces noise emissions and energy use
  • All lighting in the warehouse and staff welfare areas is controlled with motion sensors ensuring that electricity consumption is minimised
  • When the building is occupied by staff only (with no customers) the lighting system is powered down to only use one out of every three fluorescent tubes
  • Water consumption is carefully monitored and flow control devices and water meters are fitted in all stores
  • The car park lighting is switched off overnight and is controlled by a Lux sensor during trading hours
  • The store at Wavertree will have two Electric Vehicle charging points
  • Solar panels on the roof of Lidl to help meet the store’s energy needs.


Good for Producers – including championing the British food and farming sector, focusing on our supplier relationships, human rights and ethical trade, and animal welfare

Good for People – including healthy eating, supporting charities such as the NSPCC and by becoming the employer of choice in our sector

Good for our Planet – by promoting a low carbon economy, minimising food waste, ensuring our supply chains are deforestation free and by reducing, recycling and re-using plastics and packaging

For more details on Lidl’s sustainability commitments, click here.

Lidl products

Key benefits

A new Lidl store in Wavertree will deliver significant new benefits for the local community:

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Improved local shopping choice:

  • The store will help to meet local shopping needs and reduce the need to travel elsewhere
  • The proposal will provide new and improved shopping facilities for the area at competitive prices and offer exceptional quality and choice to the benefit of local shoppers
  • Lidl stocks a variety of unique product lines which are not available from other supermarkets
  • A new Lidl will reinstate the local main food destination in Wavertree, which was lost when Co-op closed
  • This is the preferred location for retail development. A new Lidl will increase footfall within Wavertree district centre, which will benefit other retailers and services.
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  • Around 30 new jobs for local residents
  • Lidl will engage with the ‘Liverpool in Work’ programme to ensure local people benefit from the new jobs created
  • Lidl’s entry-level wages are aligned with those advocated by the Living Wage Foundation, which is above the level recommended by the Government, with hourly pay starting at £9.50 per hour
  • Lidl does not operate zero hour contracts
  • Lidl is proud of its training programmes which enable staff to progress their careers with the company.
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  • A sympathetically designed store and employment units using high quality materials. A modern building design using high quality materials will add a contemporary dimension to the existing street scene and will enhance the character and appearance of the area
  • New landscaping will be provided surrounding the site to improve the general visual amenity of the site.
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  • The redevelopment will result in the sustainable re-use of a brownfield site
  • Sustainable construction techniques will be employed as well as the use of sustainable materials where possible
  • Lidl operate a highly energy efficient business with a strong commitment to recycling and the use of energy efficient equipment and techniques within the store to reduce carbon emissions
  • The Lidl store includes sustainable measures, such as Electric Vehicle Charging Points
  • The site is in a location which is accessible on foot, cycle and public transport. This particularly benefits those residents who do not have access to a car.
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  • Lidl is proud to run a programme called ‘Feed it Back’, in partnership with Neighbourly. This scheme connects all of their stores with local charities and good causes to facilitate donations of edible food surplus directly to the community
  • Since launching in 2017, over 5m meals have been donated so far.
Banner aerial of the site

Next Steps

A planning application for the proposed new Lidl supermarket at Wavertree will be submitted shortly to Liverpool City Council, who will make a decision on whether to approve the store proposals.

If you want our project to be successful, it is vitally important that you make your views known so that they can be taken into account when the Council’s Planning Committee decides whether to approve or refuse the application.

If you are keen to see a new neighbourhood foodstore in Wavertree, please indicate your support for the application on the feedback form (click here). Alternatively you can email

As with all developments there will be people who are for and people who are against the development and it is very important that everyone has their say. We would ask those people who have concerns about the proposals to contact us by (clicking here) and completing a feedback form. We will then seek to address these wherever possible.

The former Abbey Cinema banner


Why did Co-op close?

The Co-op took the decision to close their store and approached Lidl to offer the store for sale. At the time of announcing the closure, the Co-op said:

“The Co-op has a clear strategy to be the number one convenience retailer in the UK, and while this usually involves opening new stores, as part of this focus and after exploring a range of viable alternatives for the site, a decision has been taken to sell our Church Road North, Wavertree, store…The sale will enable Co-op to continue to invest in the expansion and modernisation of its store estate to deliver the quality and convenience which Members and customers expect.”

Can the building be turned into flats?

As the building was designed as a cinema, there is very little natural light on the upper floors. In order to create habitable space, substantial alterations would be needed to the building. Even if the building could be converted to flats or apartments, any such development is unlikely to be economically viable.

There are also not enough parking spaces to cater for residents and Lidl customers.

Is there a cinema auditorium and screen still in place?

No. The original cinema auditorium was destroyed when the Supermarket was first built. We do not know for sure what happened to the screen, but the upper floors of the building have been altered to cater for the various recent uses of the building including a snooker hall and bingo hall.

Are there any original features left?

As our pictures show, almost all of the original features have either been removed or substantially damaged. For example, the original ceiling in the auditorium has been damaged beyond repair by the installation of modern ventilation pipework required for the upper levels to be used.

Can the building’s façade be retained?

This is an option we considered. The original building was constructed around a steel frame, which would need to be retained and renovated. Further steelwork would likely be required to keep the façade safely in position.

It is also worth noting that even if the façade could be retained, the feature corner of the building is beyond repair and would need to be replaced with a modern replica.

Such work is expected to render the project economically unviable.

Isn’t the building listed?

Historic England has recently decided to list the building. We are now considering next steps.

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3D visual of proposed Lidl store 3D visual of proposed Lidl store
Lidl Big on quality banner

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