North Western Halls project to continue despite collapse of building firm

Lancashire-based Marcus Worthington and Company has collapsed into administration but the £30m scheme to convert the Lime Street site back into a hotel will be completed. Tony McDonough reports

North Western Halls
North Western Halls in Lime Street, Liverpool. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

A £30m project to bring Liverpool’s North Western Halls back to life as a four-star hotel will continue despite the collapse of a construction firm.

Lancashire-based Marcus Worthington and Company, the construction division of Marcus Worthington Group, was placed into administration on Monday afternoon by one of its funders Cumberland Building Society.

It puts 130 jobs at risk but work on the North Western Halls in Lime Street, which dates back to the 1870s and faces St George’s Hall, will continue as the scheme is being backed by a separate investment fund.

Hollinwood Homes, the residential division of Marcus Worthington Group, is unaffected by the administration, as are Marcus Worthington Properties and Stonewell Property Company.

Work in well under way on North Western Halls with scaffolding visible across the front of the building. Located next door to Lime Street Station, the building opened as a hotel in the Victorian era but closed in the 1930s.

It remained empty until 1996 when it was converted into student accommodation. The new hotel, when open, will be operated under the Radisson brand and will comprise 202 bedrooms.

A statement from the directors of Marcus Worthington Group said: “It is with deep regret and sadness that an administrator has been appointed to Marcus Worthington and Company Limited, the construction part of our business.

“The current economic uncertainty has led to us struggling to secure additional borrowing from our bank lenders. We have also been unable to attract fresh funding from other lenders because of these testing market conditions.

“Our primary thought at this time is with our staff. All our employees have been paid up-to-date as of September 30 and we will be supporting those affected in any way we can.

We are consulting with our subcontractors and will update them in due course.”

Marcus Worthington and Company, located near Preston, is a family-owned business which dates back to October 1975. Work will continue on the 125 Deansgate office development in Manchester.”

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