Liverpool City Council appoints real estate expert as strategic property partner

From left: Stephen Cowperthwaite, Louise Pilgrim (Avison Young), Cllr Nick Small, Nuala Gallagher, David Lord (LCC)

Global real estate firm, Avison Young, has been appointed by Liverpool City Council as its Strategic Property Partner to drive forward the development of the authority’s city-wide property portfolio.

The firm, which has had a strong presence in Liverpool City Region for many years, brings considerable strategic and market-led expertise to this appointment, combining local knowledge and global vision to deliver real economic, social and environmental impact.

The appointment, which comes on the eve of UKREiiF next week – the UK’s key real estate and property event in Leeds – will support the council to deliver ambitious plans for further investment in, and improvements to, its buildings and spaces, working collaboratively to shape plans and inform policy over the next three years.

Avison Young has already been managing the council-owned Spine building in Paddington Village, in the city’s Knowledge Quarter, since January, and will now be looking at how best to improve commercial return from its property portfolio, such as the Grade I-listed Cunard building to Croxteth Country Hall.

The appointment follows the recent announcement that Liverpool City Council’s commissioner-led intervention will end in June 2024, with Government Commissioners confirming to the Secretary of State that the council is a “well-governed, improving organisation, with ambitious leaders committed to long term change”.

The Council’s Cabinet has also approved the introduction of a Property Improvement Plan, a significant milestone which will enable the authority to accelerate its regeneration priorities, drive place-based investment, support the economy and local businesses, and promote better outcomes for communities.

As a trusted advisor firmly embedded in Liverpool’s culture and economy, Avison Young will support the council to implement the Property Improvement Plan and to advocate for its long term success.

The remit of Avison Young’s work will include co-designing the development of a strategic approach to the management of the council’s property assets, the design and roll out of a new Corporate Landlord model and to provide real estate advice on the council’s workplace strategy.

The firm will also provide senior experienced resources to augment the authority’s existing staff to support on valuation and property management activities.

This external appointment will contribute to improved data quality to enable effective decision making, increased efficiencies in terms of the use of the council’s buildings and spaces and strengthen the resilience of its property management team.

Cllr Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Growth and Economy at Liverpool City Council, said: “The appointment of Avison Young is great step forward in how the City Council delivers best value on the management of its properties, now and into the future.

“Avison Young is a team with exceptional knowledge of Liverpool, its people, its communities and its strengths, paired with national expertise and an international outlook, will help us to develop and deliver plans that unlock an ambitious and exciting future for the city at this critical juncture.

“This partnership, which will see the implementation of the new Property Improvement Plan, will better enable us to deliver for communities, strengthen our proposition as a city, and collaborate with partners to drive forward improvements to enable growth.”

He added: “We look forward to working in partnership with Avison Young, engaging collaboratively in stakeholder engagement to shape planning and policy that drives forward positive change at pace.”

Stephen Cowperthwaite, Regional Managing Director for Liverpool and Managing Director of UK Regions at Avison Young UK, said: “This nationally significant appointment reflects the quality and depth of Avison Young’s knowledge across our regional and national teams.

“This, coupled with the ambition of the leadership and council teams, will create a step change in realising the opportunities for long term sustainable and inclusive growth that benefits communities and attracts investment.

“Our team are experts in their fields, with experience working on many of the city’s flagship regeneration projects.”

He added: “We know the importance of local authorities delivering for their communities, and we’re well placed to support the strategic objectives of the council going forward, building a modernised, fit-for-purpose property portfolio to bring the city’s ambitions into the future.”

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