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Cunard Building to become cruise terminal HQ

Council to buy historic building and sell Millennium House

Published on September 27th 2013.

Cunard Building to become cruise terminal HQ

THE Cunard Building is set to return to its maritime roots by becoming a baggage handling and check-in centre for visiting cruise liners.

The council says it is part of a cost-saving scheme which will see it take up  the leasehold of the Grade II* listed building and dispose of its interest in two other city centre sites - with hundreds of staff and council services relocating to the Pier Head.

It will negate the need to build a costly permanent home for the cruise liner facility, currently housed in a temporary structure on the waterfront.

Three Graces

It says the move will slash the council’s accommodation costs by around £1.35 million per year, and generate rental income of up to £1.75 million per year.

As one of the Three Graces, flanked by the Liver Building and the Port of Liverpool Building,  the Cunard was the world headquarters of the eponymous shipping line until the 1960s.

The Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were designed there and cruise liner facilities included waiting rooms, booking hall, luggage storage and a currency exchange.  The basement was the central air raid headquarters for the city during the war

"It will be fitting to return the building to its original function as a place where cruise liner journeys begin and end," said Mayor Joe Anderson.

“We will not just use it as an operational base for our staff, but also as a place to host receptions, events and other functions, showcasing the city to potential investors." 

The key elements of the proposal are: The sale of Millennium House on Victoria Street, with staff moving to the Cunard Building or vacant offices within Municipal Buildings on Dale Street

Exercising a break clause in the lease on the 10th floor of The Capital building on Old Hall Street, with around 100 Liverpool Vision and Marketing Liverpool staff relocating to the Cunard Building.

Relocating selected services and staff from Municipal Buildings to the Cunard Building.



Mayor Anderson said: “This scheme will save the council a considerable amount of money, reduce the number of sites we occupy in the city centre and create a fantastic facility for the ever-growing number of cruise liner passengers coming to the city.


The council says it won't incur borrowing costs as the cost of the lease will come from its reserves.

A report to the Cabinet on Friday 11 October, which will be scrutinised beforehand by the regeneration select committee, recommends the council proceeds with negotiations to conclude the purchase of the leasehold subject to due diligence and survey work.

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15 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

John ShawSeptember 27th 2013.

It is to be hoped that it proves successful. Initially it will cost a bob or two, the council appear to have a bottomless pit when they're in favour of a project, but quick off the mark to moan poverty when it suits.

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2013.

All our money is with LDL

1 Response: Reply To This...
Nuff SaidSeptember 27th 2013.

Cue Katie 54, the lady appears to have chapter and verse when it comes to LDL. I wonder whether they have been invited to Canada Boulevard.

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2013.

A ‘£40,000-a-year’ senior council executive was paid more than £500,000 for just under two years work, an official report has revealed. David McElhinney, the former boss of Lancashire County Council’s One Connect partnership with telecoms giant BT, received two lump sums of £231,709 and £275,888 in June and July this year without the knowledge of county treasurer Gill Kilkpatrick, the council document said. He officially worked just two and half days a week for Lancashire and was also receiving an unknown amount from a similar partnership between BT and Liverpool City Council, called Liverpool Direct Ltd, for the other half of the working week. The council said it was now investigating how the two lump-sum payments from its bank account were authorised. The report said his salary as a Lancashire County Council employee was ‘£40,000 a year’ plus bonuses under the original agreement in 2011. In January, 2013, his status was upgraded from director to executive director but Ms Kilpatrick was not aware of any increase in remuneration. Details of the payments are revealed in a ‘bombshell’ report to the council’s Audit and Governance Committee, which meets on Monday. Ads by Google You Could Be Owed £2400 If You've Had A Credit Card You Could Be Owed A Refund MBNA.BankRefunds.net Pre-Paid UK Funeral Plans Protect Your Family From Future Costs And Save Money. Apply Here. www.GoldenCharter.co.uk… Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “These are quite extraordinary revelations. “This is twice what the Prime Minister gets for working seven days a week.” Pendle Liberal Democrat peer Lord Greaves said: “How did this happen? This level of pay is quite extraordinary.” Mr McElhinney, who last month quit his job as chief executive of One Connect and LCC executive director transformation, said: “I worked for BT 5 days a week as CEO of both LDL and OCL. I was appointed to both posts by BT.” One Connect was established in May 2011 to save the council £400million over 10 years. Around 800 county council and BT employees were seconded to staff it. The report to the audit committee on the council’s accounts is required by law and includes a special section on the payments. It comes on top of the suspension earlier in August of county chief executive Phil Halsall after it was alleged that favouritism was shown towards BT in the bidding process for the council’s £5million fleet maintenance service contract. The report said that in May 2011 then county Tory leader Geoff Driver agreed a report from Mr Halsall outlining the One Connect deal and the appointment of Mr McElhinney as ‘an employee of Lancashire County Council’. It tells councillors for 2.5 days a week working for Lancashire ‘the salary for this role was £40,000 a year, which recognised that Mr McElhinney would continue to receive a salary from Liverpool City Council’. The report said that he ‘was entitled to significant bonus arrangements, access to lease car and access to private medical insurance’. It reveals that in June 2013 he was paid a lump sum of £231,709 for the period May 16, 2011 to March 31, 2012, made up £135,338 salary, and bonus payments of £189,229. In July 2013 Mr McElhinney was paid a second lump sum of £275,888 for April 1 2012 to March 31 2013 made up of £159,675 salary, £116,213 bonus payments and lease car payments worth £10,643. The payments were made out of a Lancashire County Council bank account on behalf of One Connect. The authority paid another £69,700 for his National Insurance Contributions to the taxman for the two years. The report said Ms Kilpatrick only became aware of the payments last month when preparing the accounts because no normal monthly salary payments had been made to Mr McElhinney over the two years. It said: “The county council’s authorisation for these payments is currently under review.” County deputy leader David Borrow, said: “Details of these payments have only come to light in recent weeks and we are publishing them now as part of the routine process of setting out the council's annual accounts. “Leader Jennifer Mein has directed that arrangements are made for the whole matter to be investigated and reviewed independently, including the scale of the sums involved and the process by which the payments were made. Payments of this size for 2.5 days a week, twice the salary of the chief executive, are outrageous." Former Lancashire County Council Tory leader Geoff Driver said: “I am seriously concerned about the way this matter has been expressed. “As for the amount of information that has been included in the report, it goes way, way beyond what is required to comply with the requirements of the legislation. “The entire sum was reimbursed by One Connect and guaranteed by BT. It comes from the initial £3million per annum guaranteed by BT to cover the senior management costs of One Connect.”

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2013.

I really wonder why these councillors are employed at all when there are some many on here who know how to run a big city budget. I guess it's just a shame that they are all just too busy posting long messages at all hours of the day to be able to spare some time to do the job properly? Bit like all the guys who know how to manage the national football team are all too busy wiping tables and driving taxi cabs

SaladDazeSeptember 27th 2013.

Yes, as I said to Tony Blair only the other day, "Tone, I don't know how you find the time. You start wars, advise banks, party on yachts, schmooze with the stars, present strategies to dictators, organise mortgages... and still manage to bring peace to the Middle East. You are a flecking wunderkind. You ought to be running LDL."

1 Response: Reply To This...
Nuff SaidSeptember 28th 2013.

Name dropper. You probably mean Tony Blur

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2013.

Or ALDI perhaps

AnonymousSeptember 30th 2013.

It'll cost more than will be saved to move all the staff around and update all the IT cables to the building. I'd like to get some shares in the company that does the moves (is it Smoothmove?).This will be move number 5 in around 10 years.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 30th 2013.

So in other words, this is yet another cash cow for Liverpool Direct Ltd which operates the council's IT contract.

AnonymousSeptember 30th 2013.

Exactly. I'm in Millennium House at the moment. I'm kinda guessing that I wont end up in an office overlooking the river. Oh and dont forget about the parking. The ED's and AED's will be ok, they'll park their 4x4's outside the front door next to the LDL limo's

Nuff SaidSeptember 30th 2013.

Stop hitting us with those negative vibes. It's dead handy for the Wirral loop line and the Birkenhead ferry and all those who like feeding the pigeons. It's a short hike to Moorfields and the Paradise St. bus station, you could invest in a good umbrella, sou'wester and some oilskins, you might even stretch to a Balaclava helmet. Just imagine how this will add to the ambience, with a bit of connivance you might be able to gatecrash one of those posh do's.

Only in Liverpool!September 30th 2013.

So how much public money has been wasted in total on Millennium House since it was designed as a purpose-built Council building? They could have kept Sir Thomas Street architecturally intact after all! I blame the Lib-Dems. And after wasting all that, how much public money is the Council now going to use to line the pockets of the landlords of the Cunard Building (probably foreign)? I blame Uncle Joe.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 30th 2013.

Oh but just think of the beautiful offices the Council bosses will have!

AnonymousSeptember 30th 2013.

They'll less likely to be pestered by disgruntled citizens because it's so hard to get to by bus and then they'll have to cross the gridlocked Strand in gale force horizontal hail!

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