Second time lucky? ShedKM tries again at Littlewoods Pools
ShedKM has been given a second chance to revive Liverpool’s iconic Littlewoods Pool building at Edge Lane - this time for developer Capital & Centric
The Liverpool-based practice, which recently set up an office in Regent Street, had previously drawn up plans for Urban Splash in the mid-Noughties to convert the 1938 Art Deco landmark into a ‘digital village’ featuring 250 apartments, a 100-bedroom hotel, offices, shops, leisure space and a creche.
Those proposals collapsed as the credit crunch hit and a subsequent attempt to turn it into a school campus were also shelved when Education Minister Michael Gove binned the Building Schools for the Future programme.
Speculation mounted in the Spring that the building’s leasehold owner, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), was considering flattening the unlisted building - provoking SAVE Britain’s Heritage president Marcus Binney to accuse national regeneration agencies of ‘indifference to the building’s clear architectural and historic resonance’.
However, the landmark now looks to have been saved after it was announced Capital & Centric Plc is to buy the building and ahs submitted a planning application to Liverpool City Council to convert it into a hotel with commercial space.
The new proposal, also drawn up by ShedKM, would see £16 million of prviate sector money incested in the refurbishment project which could start on site next summer (2013).
Neil Pickering, head of area at the HCA said: ‘The Littlewoods building is a key priority for the HCA. Capital & Centric Plc’s proposal to save this iconic building and transform it to its former glory is great news for Liverpool.
‘The developer’s vision for this huge art-deco complex complements HCA’s and council’s wider plans to develop a number of strategic sites along Edge Lane, bringing vacant land and empty buildings back into use. This will play a key role in revitalising the area; creating real opportunities for growth. This is a very complex and challenging building and there’s still work to do but we’re looking forward to seeing the final project proposals over the coming weeks.’