Capital & Centric Plc has announced plans to acquire Liverpool’s iconic Littlewoods building on Edge Lane, following its submission of a planning application to the city council that seeks approval to adapt and refurbish the building.
This landmark scheme could involve £16m of private sector investment to create a hotel as well as business, leisure and retail space. The plans would help safeguard part of Liverpool’s heritage, transform an important gateway into the city and drive economic growth by generating hundreds of jobs for local people.
The building is currently owned by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the proposal forms part of the Agency’s initiative to accelerate the release of publicly-owned land and assets to unlock private sector investment. The HCA has been in discussions with Liverpool City Council (LCC) and Capital & Centric Plc for several months and the developer hopes to commence refurbishment works as early as summer 2013.
Deborah McLaughlin, North West Executive Director at the HCA said: “The Littlewoods building is a key priority for the HCA. Capital & Centric Plc’s proposal to save this iconic building and transform it to its former glory is great news for Liverpool.
“The developer’s vision for this huge art-deco complex complements HCA’s and LCC’s wider plans to develop a number of strategic sites along Edge Lane, bringing vacant land and empty buildings back into use. This will play a key role in revitalising the area; creating real opportunities for growth. This is a very complex and challenging building and there’s still work to do but we’re looking forward to seeing the final project proposals over the coming weeks”
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said: “This is a really positive step forward in bringing the historic Littlewoods building back into use. This important Liverpool landmark has lain empty for too long and we are determined to do all we can to secure its future.
“These are exciting proposals that would bring massive investment needed to breathe new life into the building. We’re now looking forward to working with Capital and Centric PLC to develop the plans further.”
Tim Heatley, Co-Founder of Capital & Centric Plc said: “The Littlewoods Pools building was commissioned by Sir John Moores in the 1930’s. He was from my home town of Eccles and built the Littlewoods Pools empire from nothing to become Europe’s largest business by the 1980’s so I’m delighted to be in a position to help safeguard the building’s future.”
The Littlewoods building is part of a portfolio of former Regional Development Agency assets that are now owned and managed by the HCA, working closely the Mayor’s agenda for change. It is part a national programme that aims to secure private sector investment to support and accelerate local economic development opportunities.