North Western Hall conversion gets £20m funding

The grade two-listed North Western Hall is set to reopen as a hotel in autumn 2020 after the project secured a £20m loan from the Merseyside Pension Fund.

The building next to Lime Street station was acquired by developer Marcus Worthington Group from Liverpool John Moores University in 2018.

Designed by Sir Alfred Waterhouse and opened in 1871, what was known as the North Western Hotel was used as office space following its closure as a hotel in 1933. For the last 22 years it has been used as student accommodation.

Worthington has now secured a £20m loan from the Merseyside Pension Fund to get the project off the ground.

Works have now started to convert the building into a 202-bed hotel, due to be operated under the Radisson Red brand, only the fifth hotel of its type in the world.

The investment has been made under the MPF’s Catalyst Fund in the second deal of its type so far. Its first was £11.2m towards Iliad’s development of 120 flats in Liverpool’s Ropewalks, made in November 2017.

Russell Worthington from The Marcus Worthington Group said: “This is an iconic hotel and I’m honoured to be involved in such a prestigious building.

“Both CBRE Capital Advisors and Merseyside Pension Fund were fantastic to work with throughout the funding process, without which we wouldn’t be where we are today. Renovation works have now started and with the assistance of our funders and advisors we hope to be opening the doors to guests in Q3 2020.”

The project team includes Turley as heritage and planning consultant, Fairhurst as structural consultant, Hoare Lea as M&E consultant, Fisher Acoustics, and Vectos as transport planner. Jenics was engaged in the bid to secure a hotel operator.

Cllr Paul Doughty, chair of Merseyside Pension Fund added: “We are pleased to have made our second Catalyst Fund property investment.  As the fund is the Local Government Pension Scheme for the Liverpool City Region it is rewarding that we are able to invest in this way, providing our members with a commercial return whilst stimulating economic growth in the Liverpool City Region and regenerating an iconic building in Liverpool.  We look forward to the potential of making similar investments in the future.”

CBRE Capital Advisors acted for the Merseyside Pension Fund.

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