Chapman Taylor and WS Atkins to contribute to regeneration plan for up to 150 000 m2 of city-centre retail space.
Architect Chapman Taylor and engineer WS Atkins are set to be appointed by Liverpool City Council to advise on the regeneration of up to 150 000 m2 of city-centre retail space.

The council’s city-centre development team has recommended that the firms be added to a team, led by agent Healey & Baker, that is masterplanning the revival of the Paradise Street shopping district.

Chapman Taylor will advise on urban design aspects and Atkins on transport in a brief for a competition that will see a council development partner picked by the end of the year. Council city-centre development team manager Jenny Douglas said there was a chance that one or both firms could be retained by the winning developer. However, she added that the developer might also want to employ its own consultants.

Part of Chapman Taylor’s role will be to explain how the grade I-listed Blue Coat Chambers building in the Paradise Street area can be retained and incorporated into a retail or mixed-use scheme.

The firm will also draw up recommendations to ensure that the new Paradise Street scheme integrates itself properly into the rest of Liverpool city centre.

Douglas said: “It won’t be a proscriptive brief, but there are some sacrosanct buildings that will have to remain, and we also want to maintain permeability – an ability to walk through the new proposals.

“What we do not want is an enclosed box plonked down in the area in the way that many 1950s and 1960s schemes in city centres were imposed without any sensitivity to the areas they were built in. But we are also looking for something that is commercially viable.” Atkins will be examining how the scheme will affect pedestrians, and advising on the future of a bus station in the middle of the Paradise Street site.

Healey & Baker has already said Paradise Street could be redeveloped to provide 100 000 m2 of retail space, whereas interested developers’ estimates range from 60 000 m2 to 150 000 m2.

  • Former Wimpey chairman Joe Dwyer was this week expected to be named chairman of Liverpool City Partnership, a new public-private company being created to revive the city centre.
The move comes in the wake of the Rogers report’s call for public-private companies to lead regeneration in a “holistic” way. The company board is expected to include senior English Partnerships executive David Shelton. The company is modelled on Manchester Millennium, which has co-ordinated construction spending since an IRA bomb hit the city centre in 1996.