No5 Paddington Night
No5 Paddington Village within the Knowledge Quarter is being amended to deliver larger floorplates

BT looks to Pall Mall or Knowledge Quarter for Liverpool HQ

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The communications giant has narrowed its search for a 100,000 sq ft base in Liverpool to two sites, from a list of four which had previously included Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters and the Echo Building.

BT’s shortlist, revealed by Place North West earlier this year, put Kier Property and CTP’s Pall Mall and Sciontec’s Knowledge Quarter alongside Peel’s Princes Dock for its requirement, part of a UK-wide consolidation of its existing offices.

However, BT is understood to have also considered ‘curveball’ choice, Liverpool Echo’s former base, looking at the former print shed which sits alongside the tower, although planning permission would be required for office use. Sony Interactive has taken 65,000 sq ft in the building, which was bought by Dubai investor Select Group from reach last year.

BT is also understood to be looking at No5 Paddington Village, which was announced at this year’s MIPIM property conference in Cannes.

Developer Sciontec, the joint venture between KQ Liverpool and Bruntwood, revealed at MIPIM UK it would be amending proposals for the 160,000 sq ft office to allow for larger floorplates of up to 17,000 sq ft “in response to occupier interest”.

Liverpool Waters’ failure to make the final list will come as a surprise to some, with BT leaning towards the supposedly life science-focused Knowledge Quarter over a more typically corporate location.

Peel has outline permission for up to 3.4m sq ft of commercial space. A reserved matters planning application was put in this summer for a six-storey office block featuring floorplates of between 8,700 sq ft to 10,700 sq ft.

BT’s relocation will see it move out of its existing office at Lancaster House on Old Hall Street.

JLL is advising BT.

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Has to be Pall Mall. The Knowledge Quarter is for a different type of occupier. Pall Mall is strengthening the city’s commercial offer and BT’s move would get it off to a flyer and help next-stage development. It’s vital the Mayor backs this option.

The business district can’t afford to lose the footfall from all those staff, either. Having an underground rail station at the end of the street is hugely advantageous to them, too. Can’t imagine they’ll be too chuffed at having to haul their arses up a long, steep hill, can you?

By Sceptical

I don’t think the hill would be a problem. As Bob Hoskins used to say, It’s Good to Walk

By Bee Tea

Pall Mall surely. Much better in terms of connections for public transport and local amenity

By CMW

The Knowledge Quarter is positioned for both science and tech so BT would be a perfect location and hopefully get them working closely with the two Universities who should be tailoring their courses to provide their graduates work ready for businesses like BT.

Pall Mall has enough potential pre-lets with the likes of Rathbones and Hill Dicks that it doesnt need BT.

By Mikes mate

Let’s not put all this private sector technology innovation at risk
I urge people to vote conservative today

By Stuart wood

Interesting that they can spend all this money – yet making redundancies!

By Nana Campbell

Totally agree Sceptical. The Knowledge Quarter was created to attract health & science based occupiers to this area of Liverpool. Not to cannibalise the existing City Centre occupier base. And particularly companies like BT who’s workforce rely upon public transport and sustain the City’s various supermarkets, coffee shops etc.. Surely there is only one sensible answer here and this will hopefully be the springboard for the further growth of Pall Mall and hopefully some additional speculative office development.

By Big John

I’m not sure what Mike’s mate thinks BT are doing in Liverpool but it’s predominantly customer services, not cutting edge technology. This should go to Pall Mall for the reasons outlined by others.

By Mike

Pall Mall is the best option. Ode to Joy!

By Roscoe

Come to Birkenhead

By George

I think a bit a variety wouldn’t go amiss in the Knowledge Quarter

By Flump

Who cares whether it goes to the so-called “knowledge quarter” or Pall Maill. Ultimately the market decides and if the market decides that a bunch of bog standard office buildings with a public-sector designated “knowledge” designation is meaningless and is in fact the best location for some customer service jobs then so be it. Liverpool needs to let go of the idea that the state can dictate how commerce operates – the sun set on the British Empire a long time ago, thankfully.

By Rodney Gildart