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Thread: Exchange Flags

  1. #1
    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Default Exchange Flags

    Exchange Flags

    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..

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Paul D's Avatar
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    Bill Davies is a disgrace and it's about time he gave up his hold on this,it's such a beautiful little area and I'm made up they'll be on site in August,it's one of them hidden gems we have that is just hidden away and almost forgotten about,it's about time.

  3. #3


    Exchange Flags should rightly be celebrated as one of the greatest urban squares in the world... and it should funtion as such.

    ALL of the surrounding buildings are sublime!

  4. #4
    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    PROPERTY developer Bill Davies has sold his remaining interest in Liverpool’s Exchange Flags office complex, bringing to an end his era as a major property developer in the city.

    UK Land and Property has bought the flagship building in a mult-million pound deal in a joint venture with construction group Pochin.

    Last year, Mr Davies sold part of Exchange Flags, the 160,000 sq ft Horton House, to UK Land and Pochin and has now agreed to sell the 300,000 sq ft Walker House for an undisclosed sum.

    It is believed the Horton House transaction was worth around £15m so given the relative size of the two buildings, Walker House may have been sold for significantly more.

    UK Land has said it will spend £15m refurbishing the site and has also revealed it has agreed a pre-let with the Ministry of Defence for 70,000 sq ft of office space.

    Around 600 MoD financial management staff will move to the building in late 2008 from nearby Mersey House.

    The deal also secures the future of the Western Approaches war museum which housed the Battle of the Atlantic control centre during World War II.

    Exchange Flags has lain virtually empty since being acquired by Mr Davies, the former owner of Aintree Racecourse, 20 years ago.

    In 2002 he handed back £4.5m received as a City Challenge improvement grant for the complex after an out-of-court settlement.

    The businessman also owned the former Post Office site in Whitechapel. That too was left empty for several years until it was sold to Manchester developer John Milligan who created the Metquarter designer shopping development.

    Following a legal battle with Liverpool City Council in 2002, Mr Davies also lost the right to develop Chavasse Park, now the site of the £1bn Grosvenor retail development.

    Simon Parker, managing director of UK Land and Property, said last night: “The fact that the Ministry of Defence has seen the potential in Exchange Flags and its location is extremely gratifying.

    “This is further substantiated by the amount of floor space completed and under offer in Horton House. Having completed the refurbishment of Horton House our efforts now turn to Walker House to help further establish Exchange Flags as the gateway to the city’s new business district.”

    UK Land is currently spending £7m of the refurbishment of Horton House, part of which has already been let to Liverpool law firm Brabners Chaffe Street.

    Mr Parker also pledged to improve the Western Approaches attraction, probably one of the most important locations in the country’s naval history.

    He added: “We are committed to retaining the Western Approaches war museum as an operational museum, recognising the crucial operations of the Battle of the Atlantic and in tribute to the important role of the city and the building in World War II.

    “An improved museum will raise the profile of the building and maintain an active frontage to Rumford Street. Working with the current curator we will be undertaking physical improvements to raise the profile of the Museum and Exchange Flags for Liverpool’s year in the spotlight in 2008 and beyond.”

    Development funding for the acquisition is being provided by the Anglo-Irish bank. Commercial property agents Alan Murch of Keppie Massie and Charles Hubbard of Edmund Kirby brokered the deal. Law firm Goodman Harvey acted for the purchaser.

    Jim Gill, chief executive of Liv- erpool Vision, said: Š"It is impos- sible to overestimate the import- ance of a vibrant, fully function- ing Exchange Flags to the health of the commercial district and the working of the city because it is such a crucial link between the expanding business quarter around Old Hall Street and the Liverpool One shopping area.Š

    “The joint venture already had great success with Horton House. The Ministry of Defence's decision to relocate to Walker House con- firms that success and will no doubt help attract other high-pro- file occupiers to the development." source
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Jericho's Avatar
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    Thank God for that. Too many people are sweating propery in the town centre (and elsewhere). It's not illegal but there's something IMO immoral about it, especially if it's not properly maintained and/or begins to drag the surrounding area down.

    Mr Davies' name has been associated with many a grand scheme for Liverpool (wasn't he in the running for the Paradise scheme?). I have tried to find a website for his company but no luck.

    Does anyone know if he has completed any projects in the city?

  6. #6
    Guest PhilipG's Avatar


    All this is from memory, so I could be wrong, but he did Walton House in Tithebarn Street, and probably got the other projects as a result.
    Didn't Beetham also start in Tithebarn Street, across the road in that interesting 1870s warehouse?

  7. #7


    It's the same building. Beetham bought the building off Walton Group and did it up, renaming it Beetham House. It was derelict and had suffered a fire before Beetham renovated it, if I remember correctly.

  8. #8


    Looks lovely now from Tithebarn Street, good job well done.

  9. #9

    Default Derby House

    Derby House and Ssefton House were the BEST buildings i ever worked at with British Telecom. A gem in the City Centre so glad its being restored


    Didn't Davies also own the old English Electric site in Netherton and the old POst office site in Whitechapel and do nothing with them?

  10. #10


    I think whoever owned the old post office went bust. Mind that might have just been the developer on behalf of Davies.

    Can't believe you can own something for so long and not do anything, suppose there was no way of getting tenents 20 years ago with the economic downturn, and now people are screaming out for quality offices.

  11. #11
    Senior Member SteH's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Childwall, Liverpool


    Think it was generous to call Davies a property developer, what did he actually ever develop?

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