The Canning Dock Competition presents a great opportunity to find a multi-disciplinary team to transform the site into a stunning leisure and cultural destination. 

The competition will be managed by Colander Associates and will be supported by  £120,000 of  funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRA), as part of their Race Equality Programme, which was launched by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram. The transformation project will take in key landmarks, including the creation of pedestrian links to the Canning Dock, and  bringing life to multiple buildings within the area as part of NML’s 10-year masterplan.

About the competition:

The National Museums Liverpool (NML) comprises eight museums and galleries and has one of the largest collections in the UK. Several of the venues, including International Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum and the Museum of Liverpool are located on the Liverpool waterfront. It is a stunning location with a powerful heritage narrative that has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status. It is NML’s ambition to create a cohesive visitor experience for the waterfront that links storytelling, heritage, community, connectivity, and commercial income.

This competition has been instigated to find a diverse and highly-skilled design team with the right approach and ethos, to partner with NML, and deliver a project that, once complete, is acknowledged and recognised for its innovation, inclusion, excellence and delight. The two-stage competition is open to both national and international design teams, including architects, landscapers and structural, civil and services engineers and will follow these procedures:

  • Stage 1: Expressions of interest using a Standard Questionnaire
  • Stage 2: Shortlisting and Invitation to Tender

This is an exciting opportunity for artists from multi-disciplinary teams to create, collaborate, experiment and engage directly with the community and audiences at the waterfront. The teams entering the competition will need to draw on and be representative of the communities that NML serve, to not only generate wonderful designs that deliver beautiful, functional and cost effective solutions, but to do so through a process that is inclusive and collaborative.

How to enter:

If you’re interested in applying for the competition, please submit your initial expressions of interest by midday on Friday 23 April for consideration by the judging panel. Expressions of interest should be submitted via Colander’s website here.

The competition will be judged by a selected panel of industry experts who have made huge contributions to their respective fields of architecture, art, community engagement and urban planning. The judging panel will be announced shortly. 

If you have specific questions or queries with the submission itself, please email  

Join in the conversation online: #NMLWaterfront

Laura Pye, Director of NML:

“Liverpool’s waterfront is a hugely vital public space, and it is so important that we deliver the needs of existing and new communities and offer people a space where they can gather to laugh, learn, play and relax. We want to transform people’s experiences into something memorable, but this project also presents us with the opportunity to represent the historic importance of the site. We want to integrate the feedback and desires directly from our communities, who far too often are underrepresented – we want to make it a space for all.”

Find out more