New workspace set to launch in home of city’s first public library

LIVERPOOL’S first ever public library is set to be transformed into a new workspace.

Duke & Parr, situated in the Ropewalks area of the city centre, is currently undergoing a refurbishment, with developer CERT Property reinstating a host of the part-listed building’s original features.

The 57,000 sq ft space will embrace the evolving needs of businesses as they move into the ‘new normal’ and welcome staff back into the office.

Alongside providing office spaces for companies, the building will provide nearly 4,000 sq ft of communal space across a grand reception, lounge, sitting room, atrium and beautiful wood-panelled boardroom.

The building, for which interiors specialist Sheila Bird is delivering the branding and design, will give tenants the opportunity to choose from a variety of units, from compact studio spaces to larger floorplates of up to 25,000 sq ft. 

In addition to the main office suites, the building is also home to 35 music production and recording studios, split over two basement floors, creating space for the next generation to continue Liverpool’s strong heritage in music and cultural industries.

Howard Lord, founder of CERT Property, said: “There is no single sector that will set up here, as we want different industries to be able to collaborate and tap into each other’s expertise, with a strong community feel as that’s definitely something we’ve all missed while working from home.”

Situated on the corner of Duke Street, parallel to Parr Street, Duke & Parr was originally been the city’s first public library, then home to the Union newspaper and, later, home to maritime, financial services and infrastructure giant Bibby.

Among CERT’s refurbishment work is a commitment to restoring some of the building’s unique features, such as its original cornicing and parquet flooring, long hidden behind suspended ceilings and false walls.

Building work is set to complete in the summer, with and a number of tenants in the leisure, tech and creative industries already in discussion for occupation from September.

Howard added: “The building has been at the core of some of the most important industries throughout Liverpool’s history and I firmly believe that what we are delivering will be an inspiring place for people to come to for collaboration and creativity, meaning the building will remain a centre for some of the most important businesses driving the growth of the city, now and in to the future.”