The forward funding deal is to help finance construction of the next office in the Knowledge Quarter masterplan, a 90,000 sq ft development on plot five, previously earmarked for a diagnostics centre.
Contractor Morgan Sindall is due to start work on the 10-storey building later this year as it nears completion of the 160,000 sq ft Spine – the first office at Paddington Village, part of the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool development, due to house the Royal College of Physicians.
Liverpool City Council has agreed to contribute £6.35m towards the construction of next office during the current financial year and a further £15.2m in 2022/23, according to an internal capital spending report.
The previously proposed diagnostic centre did not progress due to the withdrawal of a potential tenant, the report added.
The office at the designated plot five forms part of the second phase of Paddington Village, which also features Hemisphere, a 150,000 sq ft office development on plot nine, and No5 Paddington Village, a 240-apartment scheme.
Meanwhile, work on the first phase continues, including the construction of the Spine office building, due to open in April, a 221-bedroom Novotel that topped out earlier this month, and a 1,256-space multistorey car park.
The RCP has signed to occupy 70,000 sq ft across seven floors of the 14-storey Spine. Fit-out is now underway – as is work to complete an additional floor to be occupied by staff from the Clatterbridge Hospital Trust.
The Spine’s letting agent CBRE is currently in negotiations with other potential occupiers for the remaining six available floors.
A media company believed to be Sky had selected the Spine as its preferred location for a call centre, which would have spanned four floors. However, following the Covid-19 pandemic, the company put all acquisitions on hold, according to Liverpool City Council.
In addition to forward funding the office development at plot five, the council has set aside £7m for the acquisition and remediation of a site on Smithdown Road, part of the Paddington Village South initiative. The acquisition is expected to complete in 2022, according to the report.
The council plans to sell that site to “recover costs” the report said.