Regional Spotlight: Liverpool

01 December 2004 by
Regional Spotlight: Liverpool

The hospitality scene in Liverpool has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, buoyed by its appointment as the 2008 European City of Culture.

A marked area of improvement has been in the hotels sector, with the development of boutique operations, such as the Hope Street hotel, and operators such as Malmaison and Alias looking to gain a foothold in the city.

David Elton, a surveyor at the Manchester office of Edward Symmons, says the local market has been "pretty steady" for the past couple of years.

In terms of its layout, Elton says Liverpool is a bit unusual in that it has a number of "pockets" of activity rather than one main area where everyone goes.

One centre of activity is Duke Street, which is a major regeneration area and has attracted a lot of new-build activity and mixed development, including large A3 sites. Other hot spots include Matthew Street, Queens Square and Bold Street, leading on to Concert Square.

Edward Symmons is currently looking for tenants to go into the Grade II-listed Royal Insurance building, which has planning permission for conversion into a hotel.

The city has also grabbed the interest of international casino operators hoping to capitalise on the deregulation of the country's antiquated gambling laws.

If you're looking for cheap areas to get started, Elton says you've probably missed the boat, as prices have risen markedly in recent years - "But there are still opportunities out there."

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