Insurance giant returns to Liverpool after 10 years away

Insurance group Direct Line once employed 500 people at a call centre in Liverpool and is set return to the city later this year. Tony McDonough reports

1 St Paul's Square
1 St Paul’s Square in Liverpool is undergoing a refurbishment


Insurance giant Direct Line takes 17,000 sq ft of office space in Liverpool as it returns to the city for the first time in a decade.

Direct Line closed its call centre in Cavern Walks in 2013. At one point the office had employed around 500 people. Now it has taken a 10-year lease at 1 St Paul’s Square which is currently undergoing refurbishment.

It has been chosen to be the new partner to Motability Operations, the company behind the Motability car, powered wheelchair and scooter scheme. It will provide insurance to more than 650,000  customers.

The Liverpool based team who will deliver the service will make 1 St Paul’s Square their home to support Motability Scheme customers. Direct Line Group has taken the entire 4th floor of the building to service this new contract.

RSA is the current insurer for Motability. That term is located in the Capital Building in nearby Old Hall Street. It will relocate when the new contract begins in September.

Valeo Capital, development manager for 1 St Paul’s Square, began what it called a “major repositioning” of the space in November. It is refurbishing ground floor communal space as well as 50,000 sq ft of office accommodation on three upper floors. The building is already home to law firm Hill Dickinson.

1 St Paul’s Square, which comprises 131,247 sq ft across eight storeys, was completed in 2011. It was part of the wider £150m English Cities Fund St Paul’s Square development which totalled 400,000 sq ft.

Camilla Bird, head of UK asset management at Valeo Capital, said: “We are delighted DLG have chosen 1 St Paul’s Square as their new Liverpool office.

“The building is about to go through a transformation, with a new reception and best in class amenities, with the aim of creating some of the best office space in Liverpool.”

The letting was secured by sole agent for 1 St Paul’s Square, CBRE Liverpool. Cushman and Wakefield acted for Direct Line Group.

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