BT puts Liverpool letting on ice

The telecommunications giant has shelved its pipeline deal to take 80,000 sq ft at Kier and CTP’s £200m Pall Mall scheme indefinitely, due to market uncertainty amid the pandemic. 

BT was in talks to take space at Pall Mall ahead of its other shortlisted option of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, but the deal has stalled following talks this week, and no timeframe has been set for when the company may revisit its plans. 

The Pall Mall deal would have seen BT relocate from its existing office at Lancaster House on Old Hall Street in the city centre.

The decision to cancel the planned letting is part of a wider rethink by BT of its national office requirements as current market uncertainty persists. The company has also shelved plans to take planned new space in Sheffield.

However, BT’s plans to take around 150,000 sq ft at New Bailey in Salford, developed by the English Cities Fund consortium, are understood to still be in the works, albeit at a reduced level.

Last month, Place North West reported that both BT’s New Bailey and Liverpool requirements had been scaled back from 100,000 sq ft and 200,000 sq ft respectively.

In Liverpool, BT knocked around 20% off its requirement and at New Bailey, a revised planning application for a 10-storey block, rather than the original 12 storeys, was submitted by ECF as a result of BT reducing its space needs. 

BT declined to comment. 

JLL and Cushman Wakefield are the agents for New Bailey. Colliers International and Worthington Owen are the agents for Pall Mall. JLL is advising BT on both deals.

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Liverpool, as expected. draws the short straw. I will again have my comment edited because some don’t want to hear what they already know.

By Michael McDonut

This is a real shame and a much needed loss of investment in the city.
We need to reopen as much as possible and we need the council and central governments to be slashing taxes and regulations to encourage new businesses and existing businesses to grow.

By Stuart wood

Oh dear

By Anon

Bad news for Liverpool but do you really blame BT? It wouldn’t surprise me if this is back up and running in March.

By Cheshire boy

This is a shame. I was aware that BT were scaling back, generally and that they were going to reduce the amount of office space in Liverpool but to turn the lights off there has surprised me. In M’cr they are about to move into the new place,, New Bailey Salford and have revised their plans, they have reduced the size of the building by 2 entire floors and its not even completed yet. Recently I’ve had phone conversations with energy companies and comms (EE) and it is apparent that all the people I’m talking to are not in an office, they are working from home. I needed to talk to a manager so the whole convoluted mess took around 2 hours, mind numbing,,,,,,, so is this what the future is like. If companies are cutting major costs by employing such measures why are they not passing on the savings to the customer/client?

By Robert Fuller

How many times is Mcr Place Northwest going to produce this story.?

By George

So Liverpool’s employees are to be on the scrap heap. The failure to build a commercial power base in the city is going to hit us hard. It’s an affront that those responsible are still in office, sitting on their backsides.

By Mike

It`s written in the stars. Several hundred Liverpool Job losses in a few months under the mask of Covid. First a reduced size of Liverpool office, all in preparation for full closure probably in 18 months to 2 years time so work can be transferred to nice shiny Salford office. A couple might get offered relocation.

By Anonymous

Start up businesses very often rely on state-funded support. So “slashing taxes” to help them is idiotic. Businesses can thrive in a high-tax/high-support environment… Sweden.

By Idiotic

@robert fuller, Staff are staying at old hall street are they not, rather than relocating? Did I read that wrong or is something else a foot? It does also mention the scrapping of their Sheffield plans too. BT won’t be alone in such strategic steps over the next couple of years I doubt. But we really need a commercial occupier to get this Grade A space moving.

By L17

Never understood why any company invests in Liverpool, had a walk around the Old Hall St and exchange station area this week and couldn’t help but notice the number of office to rent signs, and there appears more is still being built.


They seem to be moving jobs out of Liverpool – I know this sounds like whinging Liverpool and I will get some comments like that but genuinely happening. Decisions made to move full team to Sheffield – I know some of the team offered to live in Sheffield during week to keep their job, But no – they were on a 3 months consultation – job lists were meant to go out so people got jobs from internal recruitment – but the jobs weren’t coming through – however there was no extension of the consultation period despite Covid.

By Bob Dawson

BT is a terrible company. Decades of decline.

By Androgenous

The skyscraper website says this is government bias and they took are office’s away again to put them in the North West. Is this right?!

By Mary Woolley

Now is the time to rethink office space for a WFH future. Better designed environment for the 3 day in the office people. Less travel time = less stress

By Larry

Thanks Sarah but I don’t think you have your facts right on this story either?

By George

A speculative non starter based on the false premise that shoddy skyscrapers would attract hundreds of business…not a single firm offer in over two years and £5million of public money wasted on remedial works which have resulted in leaving a massive twenty foot deep hole in the ground for us to live with for the foreseeable future.

But the biggest shame is the tragic loss of a wonderful place of calm and tranquility for hundreds of residents, office workers and visitors in a unique setting, home for a variety of urban wildlife including rabbits, squirrels, songbirds, bees and bats located in one of the last public open green spaces left in Liverpool city centre.

This was an entirely predictable waste of millions of pounds worth of vitally needed public resources from the outset.

By Terry Clarke

I returned to Liverpool (birthplace and home) for 6 weeks after traveling across Europe for several years. I walked across Liverpool covering 200 miles. In L1, 2 and 3 I was disgusted. I estimate almost 25 percent of office space is To let and empty. This Pall Mall site was a travesty. Ruining a small haven and oasis of peace in that polluted area of Liverpool. Buses, boats, cars, taxis, vans. Simple Liverpool Council greed to get as may hereditaments as possible to increase Council Tax and Business rate revenue. Ditto the Baltic Triangle.. a city ruined..

By Paul Global

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