A search for a buyer for Liverpool City Council’s former administrative headquarters is getting underway.
Advertisements have been placed in trade and local press marketing Municipal Building on Dale Street, which has been declared surplus to requirements as the city council seeks to find £90 million of savings over the next three years.
Described as “a rare opportunity to acquire a landmark Grade II listed city centre office”, it advises that the premises could be used for a variety of alternative uses including a hotel, residential accommodation, leisure or retail space.
The marketing brochure highlights some of the unique design features of the Italian and French renaissance influenced building, including 16 sandstone figures around the exterior representing the arts, sciences and industries of Liverpool and a bell tower in the centre of the building.
The building, which opened in 1866, has space for 1,000 staff but only 640 employees are accommodated there due to a significant reduction in the council’s head count in recent years.
The proposal is part of an accommodation strategy which aims to deliver significant ongoing savings and generate funding which can be reinvested in reducing the costs of the city’s major infrastructure projects programme.
Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Municipal Building has been a magnificent home for Liverpool City Council since the 1860s, and this is the end of an era.
“It was built at a time when, unlike now, the city council ran most public services in the city, but the costly nature of running and maintaining it means we no longer have the staff numbers to justify retaining it.
“We are determined to find a long-term sustainable use for the building which will also create new jobs and make a contribution to the local economy.
“We will ensure that its future use protects its unique architectural features, as we have done with the neighbouring Municipal Annexe and Royal Insurance Building which have recently been brought back into use as four star hotels.
“The sale of Municipal Building will bring in money which we can reinvest in reducing the costs of our capital infrastructure programme, as well as delivering ongoing savings by lowering our overheads.”
The building is on three floors with an extensive basement, and covers 11,494 square metres.
Workers are being moved to other existing sites across the city such as Cunard Building at the Pier Head, Premier Court on Hatton Garden, Venture Place on Sir Thomas Street and Wavertree Customer Focus Centre on Wavertree Road.
The One Stop Shop based in Municipal Building will be relocated to a self-contained unit within the refurbished St John’s Market, ensuring that customers can still access council services in a central location. Consideration is also being given to putting other public-facing Government services in the facility to generate wider savings.
Interested parties have until Friday 16 December to make an offer for the building.