Here the merchants of Liverpool carried out their business in the open air. The most familiar feature is the Nelson monument, erected by public subscription in 1813. Local tales have it that the chained figures represent slaves, but they were in fact prisoners of war from some of Nelson's battles. The monument to Nelson was Liverpool's first piece of free-standing outdoor sculpture, and its chief instigator William Roscoe wanted a design of the highest artistic standard. The sculptor was Richard Westmacott, and the overall concept was by Matthew Cotes Wyatt. Funded by public subscription, its real purpose was to celebrate the growing prestige of Liverpool, and its location at the Exchange served to remind the city's merchants of the protection afforded to their commercial interests by Nelson's naval achievements. The memorial shows Nelson receiving the Trafalgar battle honour from Victory, whilst Death reaches out to touch him with a skeletal hand. Four shackled prisoners in poses of anguish and dejection represent the four great victories at Cape St Vincent, the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar.
DEVELOPMENT firm UK Land & Property has completed the purchase of part of the Exchange Flags complex in Liverpool city centre, and law firm Brabners Chaffe Street will be its first tenant.
UK Land has bought Horton House, which comprises 160,000 sq ft, for an undisclosed sum from Walton Group, in a deal first revealed by the Daily Post earlier this year.
Liverpool-based UK Land will undertake a £7m refurbishment of the site, starting in August.
Brabners has signed a 15-year lease to take 41,000 sq ft and will move 200 staff from its existing Dale Street and Castle Street sites into the building in July next year. The firm has also reserved additional space for future expansion.
Once refurbishment is complete, around 80,000 sq ft of space will be made available, with suites from 2,000 sq ft. Retail units on the ground floor, totalling 15,000 sq ft, will be available immediately.
It is understood Walton Group, owned by Merseyside businessman Bill Davies, will also be vacating its ground-floor office.
UK Land managing director, Simon Parker, said: "Exchange Buildings is one of the city's lost opportunities in its recent renaissance and in our refurbishment of the scheme we hope to contribute significantly to Liverpool's Capital of Culture and the ambitions of the central business district. The deal is a breakthrough in what has been one of the great lost opportunities in Liverpool's regeneration."
Walton Group had left the site largely empty for the last 15 years. continues