Have your say on the sale of Merseyside Police’s historic former headquarters

Merseyside Police's former headquarters Canning Place

Merseyside’s Police’s historic former headquarters on Canning Place is set to go on the market and you’re invited to have your say on what should replace it.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell has confirmed that a team of experts has now been appointed to market and manage the sale of the landmark station, which is positioned in a prime location just a stone’s throw from the city’s historic waterfront and next to Liverpool ONE shopping and leisure complex.

Following an open and robust procurement exercise, the Police Commissioner has appointed the consultancy and construction firm Mace Consult Ltd and leading commercial property estate agents, Colliers, supported by PLACED engagement specialists, to assist with the marketing and disposal of the site and to attract the broadest and highest calibre of potential developers.

As part of the two-stage process of putting the 2.65-acre plot on the market and in line with the PCC’s commitment to social value, the site’s potential will first be explored via a public consultation which will see the public and local stakeholders asked how they would like the land to be developed.

Members of the public are invited to share their views on what the site should be used for by taking part in an online survey at www.placed-engagement.org.uk/canningplace

Two consultation events will also be held to give members of the public the opportunity to share their views on the future of the site in person.

These will be held in a pop-up shop on the upper level of South John Street, next to Oliver Bonas, in Liverpool ONE:

  • 10.30am - 6pm on Monday 5th February
  • 11am - 6pm on Thursday 15th February

The views shared through this consultation will help to shape the production of a memorandum of understanding which in turn will be used to advertise the site, described as “the best regeneration opportunity in the entire country” on the open market.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Canning Place was a loyal servant to Merseyside Police for more than 40 years, but with the opening of our flagship new headquarters at Rose Hill and major refurbishments to other stations such as St Anne Street now completed, I’m delighted we’re now able to start the process of putting the site up for sale.

“The sale of Merseyside Police’s historic former headquarters is a unique opportunity to create something special on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront.

“People from all over the region, the country and indeed the world, know and love our skyline along the Mersey, boasting the Three Graces and the Royal Albert Dock and Kings Dock. I am committed to ensuring this pivotal plot of land is used for a high-quality development which will enhance the city and have a long-lasting economic, social, and environmental value for local people.

“I’m keen to hear the views of the public and of our key stakeholders on how they would like the site to be used. Your views will play a pivotal role in shaping the memorandum of understanding in the advertising brief which we will issue later this year with the aim of attracting the best possible bidders for this brilliant regeneration opportunity, so please have your say.”

Merseyside Police began the process of vacating Canning Place and relocating to a new headquarters to a £48m purpose-built new base, Rose Hill, in October 2021 in a move which has enabled more than 1,100 officers and staff to work together under one roof. This state-of-the-art new headquarters, just off St Anne Street was officially opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex in March 2022.

Since then, Canning Place, which first opened its doors in 1977, has been used to house various police teams, while refurbishments to other stations have taken place and has been a base for significant policing operations, including Eurovision.

The move from Canning Place to Rose Hill is already enabling the organisation to save £589,000 a year on its annual running costs.

Mike Brassington, Director at Colliers, said: “This is an exceptional opportunity to shape the future development of Canning Place and provide positive feedback that will best inform the eventual site disposal.

“Situated in a prime location within Liverpool City Centre, Canning Place fronts The Strand, Liverpool’s world-renowned waterfront and is adjacent to Liverpool One. As such, the opportunity will appeal to a range of regional, national, and international developers seeking to invest in Liverpool.”

Lynne Parker, Mace Blue Light Lead (North & Central Regions) said: “Mace is extremely proud of its long-standing relationship with Merseyside Police and helping shape its estate strategy, especially in the development and delivery of Merseyside Police’s new headquarters, Rose Hill, which has allowed for the disposal of the former headquarters, Canning Place.

“Canning Place’s prime location is in close proximity to Liverpool’s iconic amenities, including The Royal Albert Dock and the renowned Liverpool Waterfront, opening up development opportunities which will shape Liverpool City’s vision for the future.”

Have your say on the future of Canning Place: www.placed-engagement.org.uk/canningplace

The PCC's Estate Strategy

The sale of Canning is the latest step in the PCC’s 12-year Estate Strategy focused on modernising and updating Merseyside Police’s stations and facilities to ensure officers and staff are in the right places and best equipped to serve communities across the region.

The strategy includes major new police hubs in St Helens, Wirral, Knowsley and new police stations in Southport and Newton-le-Willows, all of which are due to be completed in the next five years.

During the next 12 years, more than £21.6m is expected to be recouped from the sale of 11 old and unused stations, including Merseyside Police’s former headquarters in Canning Place and the sale of stations on Smithdown Lane and in Bromborough, Maghull and Ainsdale.

By selling outdated buildings that are no longer fit for purpose and replacing them with state-of-the-art new stations, it is anticipated that a further £2.37m will be saved on the annual cost of running the police estate – helping to protect police officer posts.

View a summary of the Estate Strategy 2023-35 here