merepark

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.

  • Doug

    part of me is happy about this. The scheme lacks imagination and the creative thrust that inspired the original Lewis’s store and other pioneering ideas. The idea of more multinational conglomerates taking yet more retail footage in Liverpool sickens me, when the only thing that will save our city centre is a concerted effort to work with independents and creative businesses to give the city an edge over other competing town centres.

  • david_lloyd

    watch this space, Doug (or, technically, our next issue of Almanac) we’ve a very interesting story concerning just that.

  • Mike

    It’s a disaster area. The adjacent QPark apparently can’t open due to using the wrong type of concrete. Then again, someone could just be pulling my leg.

  • James

    Liverpool city centre no longer needs “saving”, Liverpool One has ensured that.

    More shoppers = more viability for shops that traditionally command lower percentage of footfall, plus a desire on the other part of retailers to cash in on those extra shoppers. As is evident on no-longer-in-decline Bold Street.

    So Central Village might not appeal to the high culture values of some, but the extra people it will both attract in itself and also direct on to Bold Street will be just what independents and creative businesses need.

    Even independents need to pay the rent and rates, and selling one item a day doesn’t do that.

  • Tercol

    I see builders Mansell are to take over.
    Does this mean a further dilution of the original concept ?
    In order to meet targets ?
    If so, leave well alone and open Lewis’s as a one off entity !!!

  • tooright

    An issue between planning and the tenant casued the hold-up

  • tooright

    new builder will just continue to build the scheme as it was

  • tercol

    Went past there yesterday (15th Jan) Absolutely NO sign of building work going on.
    Conspicuous lack of materials, plant, etc….when does the external construction take place ?

  • Linsey Tashworth

    So…. The article stated the boardwalk commenced 2013….

    Is that going to start anytime soon? I hear things are progressin now but lack of updates from whoever the developer is now is annoying.