The Spanish bank had planned to demolish and rebuild its Merseyside headquarters to create a 220,000 sq ft campus for 2,500 staff, but has cancelled the plans indefinitely due to office market uncertainty.
The majority of employees at Santander’s office at Stanley Road in Bootle have been working from home since March.
A spokesperson for the bank told Place North West: “We are temporarily pausing the site project we had planned in Bootle while we consider the impact of Covid-19 on our future ways of working. We have briefed our colleagues and [Communications Workers Union] and will be working closely with them as our thinking progresses.”
Working with developer Vanguard Global Realty, Santander had appointed two architectural practice, Jack Carter Architects and Adamson Associates, to design a purpose-built office complex at the 22-acre site the bank has owned since 2008.
The £75m scheme, which was approved by Sefton Council last October, comprised two four-storey offices blocks around a central atrium, with space for up to 2,500 people to work flexibly from 2,000 workstations, as well as 1,000 car parking spaces.
There would also have been staff facilities including a ground floor restaurant and a covered walkway connecting both buildings.
The development was intended to replace Santander’s existing home, which is made up of former Government buildings dating to the late 1960s including a nine-storey tower. The buildings were known to contain asbestos and the architects had said at the time they were “dated and unable to keep up with modern flexible working practices”.
The professional team also included planner Savills; Turner & Townsend; WSP; Max Fordham; Planit-IE; Redmore Environmental; Thornton Thomasetti; ChapmanBDSP; Momentum; and Arbeco.
Santander is now working with its staff to better understand the company’s office needs in future.
The bank’s spokesperson added: “During lockdown, we have sought the views of colleagues across the bank on working arrangements.
“We are reviewing this feedback as we consider how best we support our customers in the ‘new normal’.”