Entrepreneurs clamour for shipping container units

Developer CanCo is offering 14 insulated containers at its Toxteth scheme, each with 150 sq ft of space, with the project due to open later this year. Tony McDonough reports

Lodge Lane
CanCo plans to use 14 shipping containers as retail units in Lodge Lane


A project offering shipping containers as retail units in south Liverpool has been “inundated” with inquiries from local would-be entrepreneurs.

Developer CanCo is offering 14 insulated containers at its Toxteth scheme, each with 150 sq ft of space. They will be available with glazed frontages facing Lodge Lane at its junction with Grierson Street.

The brightly-painted containers, some stacked two high, will offer a striking, modern frontage. The development is being built by Merseyside-based contractor Larnook, on behalf of CanCo.

Due to the coronavirus lockdown, the project was delayed, but now work is under way again ahead of a planned opening at the end of the summer. Liverpool Lord Mayor Anna Rothery visited the site to offer the scheme the thumbs-up.

She said: “This is an exciting scheme that provides space for local people to try out new ideas or launch their new business. By giving more people reasons to shop locally it can only help the Toxteth economy.

“It will also attract additional visitors to the area to spend money with the wide range of retailers, cafes and restaurants that occupy the length of Lodge Lane. We have a diverse and exciting cultural offer and this scheme will help showcase it further.”

Lord Mayor Anna Rothery at the shipping container site


Yas Alawi, of Lodge Lane-based New Era Property, has been retained by the developer as letting agent and he says interest in the units is “incredibly high”. Tenants are being offered “easy in, easy out” licences to help reduce the risk for local people who want to try new formats, new product ranges or start their first venture.

“I’ve been inundated with enquiries from local residents and we’re looking forward to announcing our tenant mix in due course,” said Mr Alawi. “In the meantime, there’s some final elements of construction to conclude, such as hooking up the utilities so if people hear building work going on behind the hoardings, that’s what’s happening.”

As part of plans to widen the community’s involvement famous local poet and story-teller Levi Tafari has hosted a series of workshops with local people, with excerpts from their stories and poems set to adorn the side of the most prominent containers.

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