Liverpool City Council has completed the acquisition of the Cunard building, in a move which is set to deliver massive savings and income for the authority.
The city council has acquired the leasehold of the famous Grade II* listed building at Liverpool’s Pier Head.
It is part of a cost-saving scheme which will see the city council relocating staff to the site and disposing of its interest in two other city centre offices – Millennium House on Victoria Street, and the 10th floor of The Capital building on Old Hall Street.
It will slash the council’s accommodation costs by around £1.35 million per year. At the same time, up to £1.75 million of income will be generated per year from renting out spare office space.
The council will have the option to buy the freehold for a nominal fee after five years, meaning the iconic
building will be owned by the city.
Plans to develop the downstairs space in the building for cruise and leisure uses are currently being drawn up by the council, and will be unveiled in the summer.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said: “This is a really important deal for the city council which will save us a significant amount of money, reduce the number of sites we occupy in the city centre and create a new income stream which can be ploughed back into delivering important services.
“This is part of our Invest to Earn strategy to find new ways of cutting costs while at the same time bringing in money which will enable us to continue to deliver vital services in the face of the massive cuts imposed by Central Government.
“The building is located on our world famous waterfront and we will be maximising its potential as a location for receptions, exhibitions and cultural events.”
The council is paying for the lease from its reserves, meaning no borrowing costs or impact on frontline services.
The Cunard Building was owned by the Merseyside Pension Fund and occupied by a number of local and national companies, with 110,000 sq ft of space currently available to let.
The income generated by the move means the council expects to see a return on its investment within 10 years.
Images: Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, at the Cunard Building