£8.8m grant helps ECF start St Paul’s last phase

After months of speculation, developer English Cities Fund has at last confirmed agreement to proceed with the final phase of St Paul's Square in Liverpool city centre.

The public-private joint venture, led by Muse Developments, has secured gap funding from the North West Development Agency and European Union for the 109,000 sq ft office building, to be known as 4 St Paul's Square.

The public funding package is made up of £4.2m from the NWDA and £4.6m from the Northwest European Regional Development Fund.

Muse said the £40m construction project would begin in September. The eight-storey Grade A office building is due to be completed by 2011.

Earlier phases of St Paul's Square have already delivered over 250,000 sq ft of Grade A offices, along with 50 apartments, a 397 space multi-storey car park and a new public square.

Office occupiers include Hill Dickinson, which took the bulk of the first building, and DWF and Edward Symmons in the second.

ECf is a joint venture between Muse, Legal & General and the Homes & Communities Agency.

Darran Lawless, development manager for Muse/ECf, said: "Grant funding is a welcome endorsement of the quality of the scheme and, given the changed market conditions, a necessary final step that will ensure we can complete our original vision.

"St Paul's Square is a magnificent 21st century project in a prime location and will ensure that Liverpool continues to have a new build pipeline."

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