Onward Homes
Image by Tom Bird

GALLERY | Onward makes its move

Neil Tague

Housing provider Onward Homes has completed its move to the Watson Building in Liverpool’s Renshaw Street, a scheme delivered by Brown & Bancroft to designs by 5Plus.

As reported by Place North West in September 2019, Onward agreed a deal to move its Liverpool operation out of its 33,000 sq ft headquarters at Hanover Street, having reached the end of its lease. Onward now hopes to complete the sale of that building this year, having originally sought offers in excess of £4m.

Onward, which also works from Manchester’s Christie Fields, agreed a 15-year deal for 20,000 sq ft over two floors at the listed Watson Building, which has been extended and refurbished following a £16.5m investment supported by a £5.6m loan from the Combined Authority’s Chrysalis Fund.

Bronwen Rapley, chief executive at Onward Homes, said: “Onward has made a positive and forward-looking decision to continue our half century connection with Liverpool.

“We considered several sites, but the Watson Building stood out due to its location, excellent public transport links and superb facilities for our employees. It was an irresistible opportunity to be at the heart of the next phase of renewal in Liverpool.

“The traditional office environment is changing, and the new workspace will provide an adaptable solution that is both an attractive working environment and versatile for our needs.”

Click any image to launch gallery. All images by Tom Bird.

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So basically another case of a pseudo public sector body using public grant to get itself ‘A’ grade office space. Will the sale of their Hanover Street site be repaid to Chrysalis? Would be the fair thing to do surely? No new jobs created, just displacement from one site to another. Value for money?

By John Smith

John Smith I think you are missing the point! The development of The Watson Building benefitted from the grant, not Onward! I think the move strengthens that part of the city and allows for further development of the now vacant office. Not sure as to why all the negativity!!

By HN

It’s not negativity. Just an observation that an organisation that already receives public money benefits from more public money with no benefit to their ultimate customers, i.e. social housing tenants. I just made the point that part of the grant should be repaid through the sale of their Hanover Street site. It’s pure 100% displacement.

By John Smith