Experts at Arup and shedkm were appointed to create the Spatial Regeneration Framework for the CBD, and have identified new grade A space as being critical to its success. Tony McDonough reports
A masterplan that would transform Liverpool’s central business district (CBD) is to got out to public consultation.
Experts at Arup and shedkm were both appointed to create the Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) for the CBD, covering around 40 acres of Liverpool city centre. Heritage consultant Rob Burns, and property consultant Worthington Owen were also part of the project team.
As expected, they have identified the provision of more grade A office space for the district as being crucial to its future success. The pipeline for grade A accommodation has dried up and is severely hampering efforts to attract blue chip occupiers to the city.
According to the latest Commercial Office Market Review, produced in partnership by Liverpool BID Company and Professional Liverpool, an extra 582,084 sq ft of office space was occupied in the CBD area in 2018.
The SRF document also aims to increase economic potential of the CBD by enhancing existing conditions to attract and retain businesses and by identifying opportunities to improve public realm and underused buildings.
To address this issue the city council is seeking to support a £200m plan to develop a scheme in Pall Mall with Kier Property and CTP, that will provide 400,000 sq ft of new grade A office space.
A report to Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet, next Friday, June 7, is seeking approval for the consultation to launch on Monday, 17 June.
The CBD SRF consultation draft would then be available to view at www.liverpool.gov.uk/consultation until Monday, July 21, where further details on how to provide comments and feedback online can be reviewed.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool’s commercial business district is a major engine in the city’s economy and its future growth needs to be proactively managed to maximise its potential.
“The supply of Grade A office space is critical to any successful city centre seeking to attract quality investors and jobs which is why we need a long term vision which this Spatial Regeneration Framework will underpin.”
Over the past six months, the team have been engaging with a wide range of consultees within the city to understand the key issues and opportunities of the area which have culminated in an SRF that presents an overarching vision, illustrative masterplan, development principles and guidance to direct future development and investment over the next 15-20 years.
As well as the document being available online, four exhibition events will be held allowing interested parties to speak to the team and explore the SRF further. Dates include:
- Thursday, June 20 (10am–3pm) – RIBA, Mann Island, L3 1BP
- Wednesday, June 26 (2pm–7pm) – One Fine Day, Old Hall Street, L3 9BS
- Monday, July 1 (10am–3pm) – One Fine Day, Old Hall Street, L3 9BS
- Wednesday, July 10 (2pm–7pm) – RIBA, Mann Island, L3 1BP
The city council, together with the Liverpool BID Company, and other public and private sector partners, are jointly commissioning the SRF. Once adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document it will give the council’s planning authority the ability to review and determine how different land uses can work together to meet demand.