Developers Urban Catalyst and Countryside Properties have reached an eight-strong longlist for the £80m mixed-use "Fourth Grace" scheme in Liverpool.
Eight developer-led consortiums are vying for the right to develop the Pier Head site, directly south of the Port of Liverpool and the Cunard and Royal Liver buildings. The trio is collectively known as the "Three Graces".

Liverpool Vision, the urban regeneration company acting as client for the scheme, chose the eight candidates from about 17 expressions of interest. Countryside is working with architect Will Alsop and Urban Catalyst has teamed up with Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

Other bidders include teams led by Manchester's Urban Splash and Liverpool-based Neptune Developments.

The eight teams have until 12 July to submit bids. Alistair MacDonald, development manager with Liverpool Vision, said at least three teams would be selected for the shortlist. This is expected to be drawn up by mid-August.

It’s going to be very difficult to make the scheme fly without a straight-bat approach

Source close to a bidder

However, it is not certain that all the longlisted consortiums will submit bids. A team that included Malaysian architect Ken Yeang was one of many to pull out early in the process.

Liverpool Vision has said it wants at least one iconic building in the scheme. But a source close to one of the bidders said that Liverpool land values meant that a radical scheme was unlikely. A commercially viable scheme would be likely to provide greater financial returns for Liverpool Vision and its development partner on a site with low land value.