HMRC are moving into the iconic India Buildings in Liverpool despite asbestos having been found at the Grad II listed landmark, according to both HMRC and he buildings owners.
The building was acquired by Legal and General for a record £125 million in 2018, currently been renovated so 3,500 tax workers can be rehomed by 2020.
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.
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.”
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.
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