What IS going on with Central Village? It’s a question we asked over two years ago, but back then we were pondering the changing dynamic of Liverpool’s retail landscape.
Fast forward to June 2013 and SevenStreets understands that Central Village developer Merepark Construction Ltd, a subsidiary of Merepark is seeking advice from an insolvency specialist, after a creditor served a petition for the company to be wound up.
Begbies Traynor – a business recovery specialist – told us that it is “working with Merepark directors to try and resolve the situation,” following several weeks of inactivity at the site. In the meantime the site’s leaseholders, a consortium of banks, have stepped in keep the scheme afloat.
“Due to the increasing scope of works the scheme was running 15% over-budget when the project funder decided to cease payments to Merepark Construction’s subcontractors and suppliers, despite the project being 85% complete,” said a spokesman for the firm.
“Control of the scheme has now changed hands, forcing the company to seek advice from Begbies Traynor on going into voluntary liquidation.”
It means that one of Liverpool’s primary redevelopments appears to be stuck in limbo. Originally scheduled to be completed in 2011, then 2012, then 2013, then 2014, the site appears to be a long way from opening for business. Don’t book that table at the Central Village Harvester just yet.
The Central Village scheme is the city centre’s largest current regeneration and leisure development and spans the former Lewis’s department store, through to Bold Street and Central Station. A Boardwalk phase, which includes a new public plaza and water feature off Newington Square, commenced this year.
Expect further updates as we get them.