Planners set to approve £35m office building

Planners in Liverpool are recommending approval for a 172,000 sq ft ‘net zero’ office building in the city’s Knowledge Quarter. Tony McDonough reports

Image of HEMISPHERE, an office building planned for Paddington Village


Planners are recommending approval for a £35m ‘net zero’ office building on the outskirts of Liverpool city centre.

On Tuesday, November 1, councillors on Liverpool City Council’s planning committee, will consider an application from Sciontec Developments to build HEMISPHERE, a 172,000 sq ft building in the city’s Knowledge Quarter.

Sciontec is jointly owned by Liverpool City Council, Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Liverpool and Bruntwood SciTech. Planning officers are recommending the scheme in Paddington Village is given the green light.

First unveiled in December 2002, HEMISPHERE, will feature 120,000 sq ft of grade A office space for health, education, science and tech occupiers. It will be located next to The Spine, a 14-storey office scheme that also cost £35m and opened in May last year. It is claimed the buildings will be net zero carbon.

Alongside the office space, HEMISPHERE will include an array of collaboration spaces, a wellness studio, café, alongside extensive new areas of high-quality public realm. If work starts next summer completion is expected by summer 2025. It is being designed by AHR Architects.

There will also be basement levels comprising 166 cycle storage spaces, an e-bike charging area, showers, changing rooms, and storage lockers. An undercroft would have parking space for eight cars.


Image of how the office space in HEMISPHERE will look


Speaking in July, Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Sciontec, said: “HEMISPHERE will be Sciontec’s first new build project. It will enhance our existing provision of high-quality workspace for leading health, science, technology and digital businesses in the Liverpool city region.

“HEMISPHERE will also generate a wide range of economic, social, and environmental benefits for the local area. Together with our partners, we are proud to be developing a unique building with innovative amenities that support health, social and cultural well-being.”

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) has offered a pre-development funding support package for the project. This follows the £12m already invested in Paddington Village from the CA’s Single Investment Fund.

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