Discovery Of Asbestos At Liverpool’s India Buildings ‘Won’t Stop HMRC Move’

Posted by Liz Seyi on December 31st, 2019

Work on the iconic India Buildings in Liverpool in readiness for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) relocating to the site next year is continuing despite asbestos having been found at the Grade II-listed landmark, according to both HMRC and the building’s owner.

 Legal & General (L&G), which acquired the structure from Shelborn Asset Management for a record £125 million in 2018, is currently renovating the site to enable 3,500 tax workers to move in from 2020. Shelborn will continue to manage the premises.

 However, the recent identification of asbestos in the Water Street building even led to one report suggesting that the entire relocation plan was under threat. This has been scotched, however, by both L&G and HMRC, which said that the proposed move was still on track.

 “Still progressing as planned”

 An L&G spokesperson commented: “There has been some delay to the building works due to asbestos being uncovered. However this is being resolved and the building is not due to be delivered until next year. Therefore the deal is still progressing as planned.”

 Meanwhile, HMRC said: “We are aware of these latest developments and are continuing to work with the developer to understand the impacts and achieve a successful outcome. Our priority is to provide the workspaces our people deserve as part of our wider transformation.”

 India Buildings was constructed between 1924 and 1932 as a speculative venture by shipping firm Blue Funnel Line, at the cost of £1.25 million – the equivalent of about £85 million today.

The transaction that saw the site pass into new hands last year was a record for the sale of a single Liverpool office building.

 In the wake of the news about asbestos being found in the building, it was revealed that contractor Styles & Wood had seen its deal to fit out the structure terminated, with a spokesperson for the company signalling that it intended to take legal action in response to what it considered a “wrongful” decision. Shelborn is now looking for a replacement contractor.

 Can you be sure that your own premises are free of asbestos?

 Whatever the site that you are currently responsible for, it is crucial to be mindful about whether this extremely harmful substance could be present, not least given the scope for its necessary management and/or removal to delay any work you are looking to undertake.

 With our complement of highly trusted and informed services here at Trident Asbestos Solutions ranging from Asbestos Air Testing and refurbishment surveys to awareness training and re-inspections, Trident Asbestos Solutions can be your go-to asbestos consultancy.

 Call 03333 441555 now for an in-depth discussion of your asbestos management or removal requirements, and to receive a competitive quotation for any of our specialised services.

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Liz Seyi

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Liz Seyi
Joined: August 13th, 2019
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