The Chrysalis Fund has approved a £4.8 million investment toward the redevelopment of the Grade II listed Watson House on Renshaw Street in Liverpool city centre.
The Chrysalis Fund was set up to support economic regeneration in the city region. The initiative is backed by the European Investment Bank and European Regional Development Fund under the JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) programme. The Fund is managed by the Igloo Consortium, which is made up of Igloo Regeneration Limited, GVA and RBC Capital Markets and operates in partnership with the Liverpool City Region LEP and the Local Authorities.
The £4.8m investment will be provided to a syndicate of investors organised under the national Business Premises Renovation Allowance scheme. The syndicate will redevelop the vacant Watson House, bringing it back to life and back into economic use, to comprise circa 80,000 sq ft of new Grade A office accommodation, built to BREEAM ‘Very Good’ standard.
Watson House adjoins the former Lewis’s department store which is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment works to provide leisure and retail space, a boutique hotel and office accommodation as part of the wider Central Village masterplan, which has secured high profile tenants including Odeon Cinema and Frankie and Benny’s.
Jim Gill, chair of the Chrysalis Fund, said: “Chrysalis aims to invest where the market currently has no capacity or appetite and in a way that attracts other sources of finance and to invest. Projects like Watson House would not be brought forward if it wasn’t for the ability of this Fund to invest in this way.
“The building will provide high quality office accommodation in the heart of the city centre. The redevelopment will also provide much needed regeneration for the Lime Street area which acts as a gateway to the city and is often the first impression of Liverpool for visitors when they arrive by train, so the improvement of this particular area is a significant step forward in the regeneration of the city centre.”
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “This is great news for Liverpool, and another fantastic example of how we are unlocking vital funds to bring our historic buildings back into use.
“This investment will breathe new life into the Watson Building, creating high quality office space in the heart of our city, providing another dynamic link to Central Village and adding further momentum to our on-going work to regenerate the Lime Street gateway.”
For more information about the Chrysalis Fund go to www.chrysalisfund.co.uk