Planners give go-ahead to Liverpool Ivy restaurant

Liverpool planners give green light for the opening of the famous Ivy restaurant brand in a Grade I-listed building in the city centre. Tony McDonough reports

Bank of England
Grade I-listed former Bank of England building in Castle Street, Liverpool. Picture by Tony McDonough


Owners of London’s famous Ivy restaurant will open their first outlet in Liverpool after securing the green light from city planners.

In May LBN revealed Troia (UK) Restaurants had submitted a planning application to Liverpool City Council to open an Ivy restaurant in the 175-year-old former Bank of England building in Castle Street.

Now city planners say the project can go ahead. It will be the latest in a number of hospitality outlets on Castle Street which in recent years has pivoted from being the centre of the commercial district to a hotspot for bars and restaurants.

Well established in London, The Ivy has become a celebrity haunt. There are now two outlets of the brand in Manchester. Property consultancy Pegasus Group acted on behalf of Troia in securing planning consent.

Local Labour councillor Nick Small backed the project and in their report planning officers said the new restaurant could go ahead subject to conditions, such as preserving the features of the building and ensuring noise levels were kept to a minimum.

In their report, they wrote: “Subject to the aforementioned conditions, the proposal is now considered acceptable in design and conservation terms, as the works would preserve the special architectural and historic interest of the listed buildings.

“The proposal would also preserve the character and appearance of the Castle Street Conservation Area, causing no visual harm to the streetscene, and the setting of the numerous adjacent listed buildings throughout Castle Street.”

They added: “The proposal is acceptable in conservation terms, as the works will preserve and enhance the significance of the building as a designated heritage asset and the contribution it makes to the character and setting of Castle Street.”

In August 2023 Liverpool developer JSM secured planning consent to convert it into a restaurant and private dining facility. The planning committee gave the green light to the project following the recommendation of planning officers.


Castle Street
Castle Street is now home to multiple bars and restaurants. Picture by Tony McDonough


In May last year JSM property and assets manager, Matt Crebbin, told LBN there was interest from a number of restaurant operators in the Castle Street building.

Once described as a “masterpiece of Victorian architecture” the Bank of England building in Castle Street was completed in 1848. It was designed by Charles Robert Cockerell and built in a neoclassical style.

READ MORE: Developer secures £20m for Liverpool scheme

Its features are influenced by a number of styles including Greek, Roman and Renaissance. It was Grade I-listed in 1952. The Bank of England left in 1987 and it was occupied by the TSB Bank for a few years in the 1990s.

In April 2015 it was occupied for almost two weeks by political activists, known as Love Activists, who turned it into an illegal homeless shelter. They were eventually evicted by the police. The building has remained empty ever since.

A spokesperson for Pegasus told LBN: “Liverpool has an array of beautiful, historic buildings and we’re very pleased to have played our part in bringing 31 Castle Street back to life.

“The Ivy is much-loved across the UK and this new operation will further bolster the city’s burgeoning premium hospitality offering.

“We would like to thank the officers at Liverpool City Council for being pro-active both at pre-application stage and during the determination of the applications and will look upon the transformation of this building with particular interest and excitement.”

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