Developer unveils plans for former ‘Giro’ site

Total Developments reveals plans for a 390,000 sq ft industrial development on the site of the former Santander / Girobank headquarters in Bootle. Tony McDonough reports

Santander’s former UK’s offices in Bootle, once home to National Girobank


Three years after banking giant Santander abandoned a £75m plan to redevelop its office complex in Bootle the site may be about to come back to life.

Chester-based Total Developments has come forward with a plan to build industrial units on the 22-acre site totalling 390,000 sq ft. It would build nine units of various sizes with the biggest offering 130,000 sq ft.

Known locally as ‘The Giro’ the site was chosen as the home of the state-owned National Girobank in 1968. Generations of people claiming benefits would receive their ‘Giro’ cheques through the post.

When it was set up it was believed the National Girobank was the first financial institution in the world to be fully computerised.

It was later taken over by UK bank Alliance & Leicester. In 2008 A&L found itself in difficulties during the global financial crisis and it was acquired by Spanish banking group Santander.

In 2019, with the site employing more than 2,000 people, Santander secured planning consent from Sefton Council to demolish the 1960s 645,000 sq ft office complex and build new offices totalling 220,000 sq ft.

It would have been the main contact centre and operations hub for Santander UK. A new public park and new pavilions were also part of the plans.

However, the COVID pandemic, which hit the UK in early 2020, dramatically shifted the UK’s office culture with millions of people sent to work from home.

Despite the pandemic ending, the shift to home working became a more permanent fixture. With many of its staff now preferring to work remotely, Santander scrapped plans for the new development at Bridle Road. 

It instead said it would be renting “collaboration space” close to the Bootle site with extra space available at its Liverpool city centre base in St Paul’s Square. It sold the Bootle site in 2021 and demolition of the old buildings has already started.

READ MORE: Work starts on £35.8m Bootle industrial complex

Now Total Developments has lodged an EIA Scoping Request with Sefton Council that sets out its plans. A scoping request is a process that seeks to assess the environmental impact of a scheme.

According to a planning statement, Total is looking to create a “highly sustainable employment location, with employment facilities designed to the highest standard and incorporating sustainable design features”.

LBN has attempted to contact Total Developments.

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