Monarch's Quay CGI By FCH

MIPIM UK I Images released of controversial Monarch’s Quay scheme

Willmott Dixon PNG

Place North West partner

Architect Falconer Chester Hall has released images of the proposed development at Monarch’s Quay, part of Liverpool’s Kings Dock site that is set to house a 45,000 sq ft call centre for The Contact Company in its first phase.

See further images below

The 11-acre plot is the final part of the southern dock system to be developed, and the decision to base a call centre there was greeted with hostility by developers questioning whether the arrangement with TCC represents best use of a prime waterfront site and a public asset, and whether Liverpool City Council had marketed the site sufficiently to the private market.

Wirral-based TCC is working with the council and development partner YPG to build the office. A planning application was submitted at the end of August. The new images and a video featuring praise from the development partners, consultants and Liverpool footballer-turned-pundit Jamie Carragher was launched at MIPIM UK today.

The city council’s overall vision for the wider site is to deliver a mixed-use development which would create a new leisure, commercial and retail destination on the city’s waterfront.

Although the council stressed that no decisions have been made over the make-up of the site’s leisure element, further phases could include a 2,000-seat ice rink, it said, adding that a winter garden, ten pin bowling and a virtual reality leisure centre are also being considered.

The intention is for the site, currently used for surface parking, to be developed in three phases, with 120 apartments, a ‘heritage interpretation centre’ and a car park anchoring phase two; with 280 homes, a winter garden and improved public realm in phase three. The council bought the site from the HCA earlier this year, using most of a £6m pot from the Regional Growth Fund.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “The Kings Dock is the final piece of the jigsaw in our vision for this part of the waterfront. This transformation will help link the existing waterfront assets with the Baltic Triangle and significantly boost employment in the city.”

YPG chief executive Ming Yeung said: “Our ambition is to help the city to deliver a new riverside destination, aiding the visitor economy and creating jobs for local people.

“We will be ensuring the highest quality design, build and fit-out for what is a unique location. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the city council and The Contact Company to help bring forward such a significant development.”

Along with issues over the site’s use, further criticism was levelled at potential conflicts of interest between personal interests and public duties. Asif Hamid, chief executive and owner of The Contact Company, chairs the Liverpool City Region LEP, and acknowledged the potential conflict in the LEP’s register of members’ interests last year. Ex-Grosvenor man Chris Bliss, who has been appointed as the scheme’s project director by YPG, is also on the LEP board, serving as visitor economy champion.

Questions were also raised over the promotion of the Kings Dock for offices, when the city’s traditional office core has been in the doldrums, the one-off deal with the Government Property Unit at India Buildings notwithstanding.

The council responded to the various questions over Monarch’s Quay in September. The Contact Company expects to open its doors by the end of 2018.

The LEP and Hamid have not responded to requests for comment.

  • MIPIM UK coverage is brought to you in association with Willmott Dixon. Place North West can be found on stand H34

Your Comments

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Yes its a shame! Something far more impressive could have been achieved with the site! Awful!

By Bob Dawson

Copy of the mediocre tat they built in the Wirral.

By Right said Fred

What a short sighted decision by Joe and his council. Awful leadership, no vision and absolutely zero ambition on display yet again. Liverpool in a nutshell poat 2008.

By Joe Anderson

The ACC and exhibition hall have been one of the true success story’s of the past decade in Liverpool. Now the council want to box in and prevent any further expansion of these facililties. This is shameful and especially with what has been proposed. Leisure attractions and a poor office building housing minimum wage, high turn over jobs. Wake up Liverpool Council’s decision makers and quickly.

By Richard

Ice rink, 10 pin bowling?!?! Are the 1970s back on trend then? And as for a virtual reality entertainment whatnot, that’s sure as hell going to be about as long-term a sustainable option for the scheme as a new Quasar centre….

By Gloria Gaynor

Questions, so many questions, principally, who will own the land the office will sit on, who will benefit from any uplift in the value of the land, what added value is the call centre tenant adding in this location that they would not elsewhere and why was this site deemed appropriate for the tenant as opposed to the numerous other buildings and development plots they could’ve chosen?

The NWDA developed Mann Island in the last period of benign economic conditions. Surely that’s the sort of scale and quality required here, not something that resembles a leisure park on the outskirts of Widnes.

By Sherlock

Now now, all of you people against this, look, an ex footballer is supporting it praised it even, and we all know that ex footballers are a shining beacon of good taste and intelligence, after all if they can kick a ball then they surely understand development regeneration, design, architecture, place making etc etc …. oh good grief.

By oh dear

This looks like that view when Uncle Albert goes missing and tries to find his old house in Only Fools and Horses, down by the Docks.

By Elephant

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