Littlewoods today, Capital&Centric, p Font Comms

Developer Capital&Centric has said it will rebuild the tower using parts of the original material. Credit: via Font Comms

Littlewoods’ clock tower to be taken down

Surveys have proven that the existing tower on the iconic Liverpool building is structurally unsafe and could collapse. Developer Capital&Centric has promised to rebuild it in the future.

Vacant for decades, the fate of the Littlewoods clock tower was decided after digital analysis of laser monitoring of the structure. The laser monitoring was focussed on tracking the tower’s movement and condition, with the results raising a red flag.

John Moffat, joint managing director at Capital&Centric, said: “We’ve explored every option to secure the original tower structure in situ, but the conclusions of several teams of experts have confirmed we need to dismantle it, re-use as much of the material and recreate the tower structure.

“We want to do this soon,” Moffat continued. “If the tower collapsed, it could not only cause severe damage to the rest of the building, but put lives at risk.

“Our priorities are keeping everyone safe and saving what we can of the buildings, working to minimise the amount of structure needing to be re-built.”

A safe zone has been put into place around the clock tower in the meantime, with the developer expected to start the dismantling process in the coming weeks. Capital&Centric said it would keep detailed photographic and survey records of the tower so that it would be able to rebuild it as accurately as possible.

Moffat acknowledged that without the clock tower, the Littlewoods building could look “quite sorry for itself,” however he noted, “it will improve over time as restorative work progresses”.

The tower’s dismantlement and rebuilding will not change the budget for the wider Littlewoods project either, he added.

“We’ve restored lots of listed buildings and our experience meant we always anticipated the ongoing remediation would uncover structural challenges,” Moffat said. “Dismantling the tower will cost more, but it’s a necessary last resort – one that can be covered under the existing project budget.”

Capital&Centric has been working with its team, including structural engineer Curtins, on conducting site surveys and investigations since December to see what needs to be done to make the Littlewoods buildings safe to start the main project work.

This will ultimately see the building of two 20,000 sq ft film studios and the transformation of the Littlewoods complex into a series of offices, workshops, performance spaces, food hall, education facilities, screening rooms, and a roof terrace. The designs for the project come from architect ShedKM and landscape architect Planit.


Liverpool City Council is working alongside Capital&Centric on the project as the freehold owner of the site, with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority contributing £17m to the scheme.

In addition to Curtins, ShedKM, and Planit, the project team includes planner Avison Young, access strategist Hada, air quality specialist BWB Consulting, arboriculture expert Tree Solutions, ecologist Rachel Hacking Ecology, noise surveyor Hann Tucker, and transport consultant SK Transport.

Ekosgen drafted the economic impact report, Cinns the construction method, and WECE the energy and sustainability strategy.

To learn more about the Littlewoods project, search application reference number 23F/2887 on Liverpool City Council’s planning portal.

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It was almost inevitable that there would be some major structural damage to this building after years of neglect and the arson episode which caused great damage. It seems however that C&C have got a handle on things and we look forward to the day this iconic structure is put back to good use, providing well paid jobs both directly and indirectly.

By Anonymous

I have great memories of driving back from New Brighton after a day out with my parents, in the late 60s and early 70s and seeing this building, in those days, the building was a huge source of employment. I can’t wait to see it restored.

By Elephant

Great to see the clock tower still getting rebuilt

By Anonymous

Those that will still be feeling confident of a rebuild once this tower disappears from the skyline, fair play you have stronger nerves than me!

By Anonymous

Are they rebuilding it immediately as the article states “in the future” – I’m going to be quite cynical and say goodbye now. Fingers crossed I’m wrong.

By Anon 1

There is deliberate mathematical symmety to Art Deco buildings like this. Without the clock tower then the building becomes bland, banal and meaningless Hopefully its grade II listed status will mean the devloper will be forced to rebuild the tower. Remember there is more to a redevelopment than the maximising of profits, all developers need to be inbued with this mindset.

By LordLiverpool

Not viable

By Anonymous

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