It has been announced this week that Signature Living plans to transform and redevelop the prolific Cavern Walks shopping centre into an amazing hotel, retail and events space.
Located in between Mathew Street and Lord Street, Cavern Walks was once the hottest spot for grabbing designer clothing in Liverpool way before the likes of Liverpool ONE or the Metquarter. The shopping centre now contains only a handful of shops after struggling to keep up with larger competitors in the city – but is best known for stores like Vivienne Westwood, Weavers Door, Boudoir Boutique and Cricket. These shops will remain but will be accompanied by new neighbours in the form of other retailers, a luxury hotel, restaurants, events space and other exciting developments. In doing so Signature Living hopes to help the area thrive once again whilst driving footfall back into an area of Liverpool city centre which is in need of a new lease of life.
A Hidden Gem
On speaking to the Liverpool ECHO, Signature Living founder Lawrence Kenwright explained, “We believe that Signature Living’s expertise at giving large buildings a new reason to live again as luxury hotels will be integral to not only adding many hotel guests to the new Cavern Walks, but also ensuring that the tone of the street is geared to a higher standard.” If plans are given the go-ahead, the new hotel will showcase a reception area at the Lord Street entrance to Cavern Walks. A large elevator will also run throughout the complex.
Described by Lawrence as a “hidden gem”, Cavern Walks will be Signature’s 20th property in Liverpool, featuring 80,000 sq ft and the creation of a whopping 150 jobs. “Cavern Walks has a special place in Liverpool’s heart”, Lawrence told the ECHO.
“For years, it dominated the retail arena that saw visitors travel from all over the UK. But, as retail and customer habits changed, the building has struggled to evolve. It’s a real shame that the office space within the building has lain empty for over 10 years and is strewn with empty shops.”
Not Just A Shopping Centre
However, Cavern Walks showcases much more than just retail and office space. Opened in 1984, the shopping centre was built on the original site of the world-famous Cavern Club. With many references to The Beatles running throughout the architecture and design, Cavern Walks is an intrinsic part of Liverpool’s rich history and heritage. Home to the musical ‘walk of fame’, Mathew Street is also known as a well-renowned part of the vibrant historical identity that Liverpool boasts.
Scouser David Backhouse was the architect tasked with the design of the shopping centre. He received the development concept in 1980 – on the day of John Lennon’s death. “One morning, I opened our front door and a friend of mine was on the doorstep in tears. He told me John Lennon had been shot and was dead”, David has recalled when speaking to the BBC. “That morning I completed the designs for Cavern Walks and Mathew Street’s renaissance.” Placed above the Mathew Street entrance is a dove; an allusion and tribute to John Lennon’s enduring desire for peace.
This latest acquisition of Cavern Walks means that Signature Living has now transformed 1.5m square feet of space within the city – which equates to an overall investment of £285mi into Liverpool. We can’t wait to see the final result!