Video games and shipping drive Liverpool lettings rise

Rising demand from both the video game and maritime sectors drive up demand for Liverpool office space in the first quarter of 2024, a new report shows. Tony McDonough reports

Walker House
Walker House in Exchange Flags saw a number of lettings during Q1 2024


Video game development and maritime sectors are driving an increase in lettings in Liverpool’s office market, new data reveals.

Figures from the Liverpool Office Agents Forum (LOAF) shows 95,905 sq ft of space changed hands across 24 deals in the first quarter of 2024. This is 132% higher than the 41,171 sq ft of space let during the same period in 2023.

LOAF reports the gaming, creative, and professional sectors were helping to drive the upsurge. Games developer Wushu Studios took 13,320 sq ft at Walker House in the biggest move of the quarter and Sentric Music took 13,000 sq ft at the same location.

And confidence within Liverpool city region’s £5bn powerhouse maritime sector was also a driver. Shipping firm Hapag Lloyd moved into 8,858 sq ft of space at No 1 St Paul’s Square during the three-month period.

Gabriel Davies, associate at Fisher German and chair of LOAF, said: “Q4 2023 ended on a positive note with 116,000 sq ft of offices being transacted.

This positive sentiment has continued in the first part of this year and demonstrates that occupiers remain eager to be located in the city.

Seeing more than 95,000 sq ft of office space transacted in Liverpool is a fantastic result for a first quarter – it’s actually more than was achieved in the first six months of 2023.

“While the games industry has played a key part in an excellent Q1, other creative sectors such as music, and more traditional Liverpool sectors like shipping, have also contributed strongly.

“We’re hopeful that this performance continues into 2024 as more occupiers value having high-quality office space in prime locations.”

While there may be strong demand for relocations and expansions by firms already in the city there remains an issue in attracting larger occupiers from outside the city region.

Central to this problem is the drying up of the pipeline of grade A office space in the commercial district. There are proposals for new developments at Liverpool Waters and Pall Mall but, with headline rents at £25.50 per sq ft, speculative development is unlikely.


1 St Paul's Square
Hapag Lloyd took space 1 St Paul’s Square in Liverpool’s commercial district
Martins Bank Building
Uncertainty remains over the Martins Bank Building project. Picture by Tony McDonough


There is also uncertainty over the proposed transformation of the 210,000 Martins Bank Building in Water Street. Junior partner in the scheme, Kinrise, pulled out earlier this year and the owner, Karrev, has yet to make a public statement on the future of the project.

Mark Worthington, of commercial property consultancy Worthington Owen, added: “We have had a good run for the past six months and it is particularly pleasing to see the growing importance of knowledge-based companies in driving demand.

“We anticipate take-up for 2024 to be solid but not spectacular and the primary obstacle going forward is the lack of investment in new office space within the business area.”

LOAF comprises Fisher German, CBRE, Avison Young, Worthington Owen, Mason Owen, Keppie Massie, Mason Partners, Eddisons, Hitchcock Wright & Partners, LM6, SK Real Estate, and B1 Real Estate.

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