Liverpool start-ups wanted for shipping container retail units

Local developer CanCo is creating 14 commercial units in the containers in Lodge Lane and is asking interested local entrepreneurs to get in touch. Tony McDonough reports

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


Developer CanCo has started work on its long-awaited and “funky” scheme to create 14 commercial units in shipping containers in south Liverpool.

Taking its lead from similar schemes in London’s Shoreditch and Brixton, CanCo first unveiled its plans for the retail scheme in Lodge Lane in Toxteth back in early 2018. Planning permission was secured in August of that year.

Licensing issues with the city council have now been settled and construction work has started via local contractor Larnook. Local retailer and entrepreneurs will be prioritised when it comes to letting the units.

Lodge Lane is already well known in Liverpool for being a popular multi-cultural retail hub and CanCo believes its quirky development will add to this mix.

“This will help build on Lodge Lane’s continued success,” says local businessman Yas Alawi of Lodge Lane-based New Era Property Management, who has been retained to manage the lettings process. 

“It’s the existing community that has given Lodge Lane its energy and so we want as many local people as possible to come forward with ideas to occupy the new units.”

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

All 14 containers will be available on short, flexible terms to allow local businesses to try out new retail concepts without the risks and costs associated with long, institutional leases.

The development will use refurbished, insulated shipping containers of 150 sq ft each, with glazed frontages facing Lodge Lane. The units will be laid out around a landscaped central courtyard on a site bounded by Lodge Lane and Grierson Street, with containers painted different colours and some stacked two high to offer a striking, modern frontage.

Nathan Schreiber of CanCo added: “Our contractors are local, we’ve sourced the containers in Liverpool and we want our tenants to be from as close to Lodge Lane as possible.”

Work has already begun clearing the site to allow the laying of a large concrete plinth on which the containers will sit. Construction is expected to be completed by mid-March, with units available for occupation after Easter.

Interested occupiers are asked to contact Yas Alawi directly 07500 900 830 or

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