Dale Street's rotting row sold for £1

Developer Jamworks gets it on the cheap side

Written by  The Confidentials | Follow @ | Thursday, 28 November 2013 11:14

IT'S one of Liverpool’s most famous streets, celebrated as the thoroughfare where free men of the city can walk their flocks of sheep . It is home to the headquarters of the city council and now a row of buildings is on offer for just £1. 

Bringing "pound land" (not the shop) to Dale Street is part of a plan by Mayor Anderson to restore some of the oldest commercial buildings in the heart of Liverpool. 

Local developer Jamworks will be offered vacant 87-95 Dale Street and 2-6 Cheapside, as part of a deal to restore the vacant buildings, dating back to 1819.

The company is about to start work on a £5m conversion of the old Bridewell – the one time city jail – into student flats. 

Mayor Anderson’s cabinet will be asked, on Friday 6 December, to approve the scheme to save what is a row of Grade II listed buildings.  

Under the proposals, the council will hand over the 200-year-old, council-owned buildings opposite the Municipal Buildings  to Jamworks for £1 on completion of all of the works, unlocking an investment of over £2m. 

The so-called Dale Street Shops are in a poor – and deteriorating – condition, and the deal would secure the future of the buildings, protecting their architectural heritage while delivering 330sq m of new retail and commercial space and 12 residential units. 

If the Dale Street Shops scheme is given the go-ahead, Jamworks will do both projects in tandem. 

Mayor Anderson, said: “Dale Street Shops are an important historical landmark for the city, but they have steadily deteriorated over the past decade, becoming a real eyesore. It has been a major problem which has been difficult for us to resolve, despite the best efforts of our officers. 

“Taking such an innovative approach in this case gives us an excellent opportunity to finally bring these buildings back into sustainable use.

These proposals represent a sound financial deal for the public purse.” 

Dale Street Shops VisualSort of how it will look

Dale Streets Shops have a ‘conservation deficit’ or funding gap of approximately £650,000 due to the costly restoration works required, on top of the basic development costs. As part of the deal, the city council would make a grant of £275,000 available to the developer from its Buildings at Risk Capital programme to make the project financially viable. 

Jamworks Ltd has a solid track record of dealing with heritage buildings, with other successful projects including the restoration of the listed building at 71 Shaw Street in Everton. 

Mark Connor, chief executive from project managers Vermont Capitol Ltd, said: “Our plans for the Bridewell building are moving forward quickly, and we believe that by combining this work with the restoration of Dale Street shops, we could create something really special.” 

The city says robust background and financial checks will be undertaken, alongside full due diligence on the detail of the proposal. 

A planning application will be submitted shortly and if given the go-ahead, work is expected to start next Spring and be complete within 12 months. 

*Further reading here