Security around the ACC Car Park on the Liverpool Waterfront has been stepped up to prevent public access, with hoardings set to go around the building from this weekend, following the devastating fire on New Year’s Eve.

Despite the extensive damage to the car park, which now has 24 hour security to ensure public safety, ACC Liverpool (which includes the Echo Arena, BT Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre Liverpool, Pullman Hotel) remains open for business and its full schedule of booked events will still go ahead.

Liverpool City Council’s Parking Services team is currently making contingency arrangements to provide extra open-air parking in the area.

As soon as the site has been made secure, structural engineers will begin the process of determining the viability of the structure and people are being urged to keep a safe distance from the building.

The process of removing the 1,305 vehicles that were parked inside is estimated to take many weeks, as most were entirely incinerated.

Mayor Liverpool, Joe Anderson, explained: “We are still in the process of trying to make the site safe so that structural engineers can being the process of analysing the extent of the damage.

“Frankly, it’s likely that the car park will have to be demolished as the fabric of the building has been extensively damaged. To put this in perspective, one of the cars of the third floor has actually crashed through to the floor below.

“So it’s not safe yet even to enter the building and we cannot have anyone risking their lives trying to do so, especially with the strong winds we’re currently experiencing.”

Mayor Anderson added: “I know that some cars have not been destroyed and those people will rightly want to retrieve their vehicles and contents, but I would ask them to bear with us while the recovery work continues.

“We will do everything we can to try and recover any vehicles and possessions that are still viable, but everyone needs to understand that the car park was an inferno and the vast majority of cars were completely incinerated.”

“We are dealing with a freak event and people who have worked in this field for a lifetime have never known anything like it.

“Thank God there was no loss of life in the fire. However public safety must continue to be our Number One concern.”