HC Deb 30 November 1978 vol 959 cc324-5W
Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he proposes to take to ensure that the proposed Government office development at the Exchange station site, Liverpool, will be completed on time.

Mr. Shore:

The scheme is to convert the hotel to offices and to build new offices on the adjoining station site. Because of the interrelationship between the two parts, it is desirable that construction should be managed under a single contract. Detailed plans for the conversion of the hotel are ready and the work ought to start soon to avoid further deterioration of the fabric. If a conversion contract were let now and a separate contract for the new construction deferred until the new building was fully designed, the advantages of co-ordinated management would be lost, occupation of the hotel would be delayed by 12 months and the completion of the whole scheme by 15–21 months.

In view of the scheme's contribution to the regeneration of Liverpool's central area, and the additional Civil Service jobs that will be provided there, I think it important to take special action to complete the project as early as possible. I am advised that a management contract would be the most effective means of ensuring this. It would enable the hotel conversion to begin quickly. The new contruction would follow in fully pre-planned packages which would be subcontracted on a competitive basis as detailed design work was completed. I have instructed the Property Services Agency accordingly.