Video offers unique look at Martins Bank Building

Roller-skating troupe Rollerdrome have helped showcase Martins Bank Building in Liverpool in a new video ahead of the start of a multi-million pound transformation later this year. Tony McDonough reports

Martins Bank Building
Rollerdrome took part in a video filmed in Martins Bank Building

 

Martins Bank Building is one of Liverpool city centre’s magnificent landmarks and this summer will undergo a multi-million pound transformation into a small business and leisure hub.

Owner Kinrise, which acquired the 210,000 sq ft building in August 2021, will start work on the Water Street building this summer. Ahead of the project it allowed local roller-skating troupe Rollerdrome into its historic interior to take part in an amazing film.

In the video, roller-skaters roam freely around the large, open-lit banking hall, across ornamental marble and stone flooring, under an ornate, vast glass ceiling. They then roll through the building, up the main staircase into the remarkably well-preserved original boardroom.

This is dressed with a walnut ceiling detailed with gold, emerald green, sea motifs, dolphins, ships, mermaids and Liver Birds. All nodding to Liverpool’s maritime history, purposed to reflect the power and prestige as Martins Bank’s national head office.

The skaters even venture into the lower ground vaults which famously stored the Bank of England’s gold reserves in 1939 during the war.

Click here to watch the film

Martins Bank Building, located next to Liverpool Town Hall, has been closed since 2009 and, despite numerous projects and ideas, the building has remained empty except for a handful of events and film sets.

 

Martins Bank Building in Liverpool is now owned by Kinrise
Martins Bank Building
Former banking hall at Martins Bank Building in Liverpool
Martins Bank Building
Vaults at Martins Bank Building were used to store Britain’s gold in World War II
Martins Bank Building
Martins Bank Building will undergo a multi-million pound transformation

 

Kinrise, which specialises in the refurbishment of historic buildings, has revealed plans to turn the Grade II-listed building into a hybrid mix of work, social and restaurant space, with Martins being its largest acquisition to date. It is working with architects Red Deer and Brock Carmichael, the renovation is due to begin in July 2022. It will take two years with the building reopening in 2024.

Sam Lawson Johnston, co-founder of Kinrise says: “Martins is such an important and imposing building that is so closely tied to Liverpool, its history, culture and community.

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“We want the building’s renovation to be open and accessible once more so it can be enjoyed and experienced by everyone across the city. As work progresses we are delighted to share updates and insights on this iconic building that belongs to the city.”

Completed in 1932, Martins Bank performed a hugely important strategic function when its vaults were used to store the bulk of England’s gold reserves, 280 tonnes, as part of Operation Fish in World War II. It was part of an overall plan to move the country’s wealth to Canada in the event of a German invasion.

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