Iliad Group has completed the sale of a surface car park on Pembroke Place to Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine as it progresses plans for a new research building.
The school has reached capacity in its existing premises and is considering its options including building a grow-on base of up to 50,000 sq ft opposite its main centre in Pembroke Place. The existing £21m 77,000 sq ft centre designed by Sheppard Robson completed in the middle of 2007.
The school's rapid expansion is partly due to the support of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda. Earlier this month the school received $10m from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the latest in a series of large staged donations from the foundation, to continue drug discovery and development research against human filariasis – parasitic worm infections which cause river blindness and elephantiasis, some of the world's most debilitating diseases affecting up to 150 million people in 83 countries throughout the tropics. The same foundation gave $50m in 2005 and $31m in 2010 towards research programmes.
The terraced row of shops and houses targeted by the school contains listed buildings and numerous private sector interests. Other University of Liverpool and council-owned sites are also being considered.
The expansion of the world-renowned school was identified by Liverpool Vision, the economic development agency for the city centre, in its knowledge quarter prospectus in 2011 as a priority scheme.
The school is also converting Anson House on the corner of Pembroke Place and Anson Street into labs in a scheme designed by Broadway Malyan due for completion next year.
All parties declined to comment.