News | 25/10/19

Masterplan to grow Commercial District approved

A masterplan to guide the development of Liverpool’s historic commercial district into a world class business location has been approved today (Friday, 25 October).

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet has formally endorsed a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) which could lead to the delivery of up to 2m sq ft of new commercial space in the city centre over the next 15 years.

The Commercial Business District SRF has identified 12 key sites as areas for potential expansion in a bid to address the district’s falling supply of Grade A office space and enable Liverpool to compete with other UK cities in attracting major companies.

The CBD SRF, which went out to public consultation in the summer, also provides an overarching vision, design guidelines and development principles to direct future growth and enhance connectivity with neighbouring areas such as Peel’s £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme and the emerging Ten Streets in North Liverpool.

The document was developed by Arup as project lead and town planning consultants, architects and masterplanners shedkm, heritage consultant Rob Burns, and property consultant Worthington Owen.

The city council, together with the Liverpool BID Company, and other public and private sector partners, jointly commissioned the SRF with a brief to enhance the vibrancy and attractiveness of the CBD.

The overriding objective of the wider CDB – SRF is to facilitate business growth, inward investment and job creation, while successfully delivering place-making with environmental enhancements, improved connections and complimentary retail and leisure uses, which make the CBD a desirable place to be, day and night. This is essential to grow the City’s office market and facilitate a step-change in Liverpool’s office economy.

Liverpool city council is already involved in a £200m scheme in Pall Mall, with Kier Property and CTP, that will provide 400,000 sq ft of new Grade A office space, complimentary retail and leisure uses, and a new high-quality public realm. It will potentially create more than 2,000 new and safeguarded jobs in the CBD.

It is also investing £150m in new road infrastructure in and around the district and the city council recently obtained planning consent to create a new cruise terminal at nearby Princes Dock.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “To be a world class business location a city needs a commercial district that can offer opportunity, flexibility, connectivity and quality – in its buildings and its streets.

“The supply of Grade A office space is critical to attracting major investors and jobs and this Spatial Regeneration Framework will underpin our long term vision to deliver that.

“This SRF shows that Liverpool’s potential is huge. All the ingredients are there to transform our ambitions into reality. We must now maximise every opportunity to ensure our commercial district fulfils its role as a major engine in the Liverpool Powerhouse and UK economy.”

Bill Addy, Chief Executive of Liverpool BID Company, which represents more than 800 businesses in the CBD, added: “Liverpool BID Company’s investment in the SRF demonstrates our ongoing commitment in safeguarding the future growth of CBD for the benefit of our levy paying businesses and the wider city economy. It is fantastic to see further progress being made.

“As our city region’s commercial epicentre, the SRF is essential if we are to compete with other business districts not just in this country but around the world. Engagement during the public consultation period was very encouraging, and it was made clear by the business community that a new masterplan for the area is needed.”

Steve Stuart, Chair of the Professional & Business Services Board for Liverpool City Region LEP, said: “This is fantastic news for the city. The Spatial Regeneration Framework offers a clear vision to future proof the Commercial Business District and drive investor confidence in this mixed-use heritage area.

“To retain and attract talent and businesses, the Professional and Business Services (PBS) Board have been working with Liverpool City Council, Liverpool BID Company and private sector stakeholder to ensure the future of the Commercial Business District and I look forward to continuing this collaboration to help realise the ambitions within the document.”