MSB Solicitors Liverpool
There have been genuine concerns around the health of the office market in Liverpool. With a dwindling stock of grade A space those concerns are certainly justified. But there are reasons to be optimistic.

Over the past couple of years we have lost something in the region of 1m sq ft of office space as old stock has been converted in to apartments, restaurants and hotels.

That process must be seen as largely positive. It has brought empty accommodation, no longer suitable for modern office occupiers, back into use and helped stimulate Liverpool’s residential property market and its £4bn visitor economy.

Meteoric success
We have some fantastic hospitality entrepreneurs in this city. They include one of our clients, Indian street food brand, Mowgli, and its meteoric success in the city, driven by the energy of founder Nisha Katona, has led to expansion to other parts of the UK.

So we need to celebrate the success of our visitor economy and, at the same time, recognise there is still the issue around creating new office stock to satisfy the demand of both existing businesses in the city who are looking to move or upgrade and requirements from elsewhere in the country.

MSB itself relocated last year, from Silkhouse Court in Tithebarn Street to No 4 St Paul’s Square. In our building, and in others across the square, there are a number of dynamic and growing professional services firms.

Centre of excellence
Liverpool has long been a centre of excellence for the financial and professional services sector and if we are to continue to build on that then we have to attract occupiers from places such as London and overseas.

Easier this month we saw a report published that forecast the sector could create an extra 20,000 jobs in the city region over the next couple of decades. For that to happen we need to create capacity.

There are signs in the market that is starting to happen and that the number of enquiries from potential occupiers is growing. There is real optimism that later in the year prime office rents will move upwards, making it a more attractive proposition for investors to create new office space.

When St Paul’s Square was being built, it required gap funding from the EU in order to make it happen. Signs are that this time around the local market is sustainable enough for such an intervention not to be needed.

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MSB Solicitors

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