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Wednesday, 3 June

HMRC Heads to India

Liverpool’s historic India Buildings is to become a UK Government Hub, with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) occupying the majority of the space. The move will see HMRC become one of the largest employers in the city.

Around 3,500 HMRC staff will be based in the India Buildings which will become one of its state-of-the-art regional centres. HMRC is transforming its estate into 13 modern and cost-effective regional centres which will mean that it improve its woeful customer service while making it harder for so many people to cheat the system.

India Buildings is in the heart of the city and has excellent access to transport links and good digital infrastructure required by a modern tax authority to create great online services.

The Liverpool Regional Centre will provide HMRC with the opportunity to strengthen its relationships with the local community and become a visible and active contributor to the local area.

HMRC has acquired around 270,000 sq ft. and will occupy ten floors of the India Buildings with staff moving in from 2019.

Jon Thompson, Chief Executive of HMRC, said: “The signing of the lease for India Buildings gives us the opportunity to bring an iconic Liverpool building back to life, while providing staff with the flexible and collaborative working environment that is expected from a modern organisation – making the centre a hub of highly-skilled career opportunities.”

 

A brief history

India Buildings was built between 1924 and 1932. The competition for its design was won in 1923 by Arnold Thornely and Herbert J. Rowse, the assessor being Giles Gilbert Scott. It was built as a speculative venture by the shipping firm of Richard Durning Holt and Alfred Holt and Company (the Blue Funnel Line) partly for its own use, and partly for letting offices to other businesses. It was built by Dove Brothers of Islington, its steelwork being made and erected by Dorman Long of Middlesbrough.

The cost of the building was £1.25 million.

The building replaced an older one on the site known as India Building's, built in the 1830s for George Holt, the father of Alfred. The new building was constructed in two stages, the first stage being alongside the earlier building, and the second stage demolishing and replacing it.  The two stages straddled the former Chorley Street. Before the design was approved, Liverpool Corporation stipulated that an arcade of shops should run through the centre of the building on the route of the street, and this was incorporated into the design. The original occupants included Lloyds Bank, a Post Office, commercial and insurance companies, solicitors, and government offices. Alfred Holt and Company occupied most of the sixth, seventh and eighth floors. Also in the building were a public hall and a constitutional club. India Building was badly damaged by bombing in 1941, and was later restored to its original condition under the supervision of Herbert J. Rowse.

India Building was designated as a Grade II listed building on 14 March 1975.  Following a campaign by the Twentieth Century Society, its designation was raised to Grade II* on 5 November 2013.  One of the reasons given for this elevation in status is its transatlantic influence, reflecting Liverpool's historic links with the United States, stating that it "emulates the most impressive early 20th-century commercial buildings of the US", particularly those in New York.

Other reasons include its architectural interest, including influences from the Italian Renaissance and the American Beaux-Arts movement, and the eminence of its architects. Also noted are its planning interest, in that it follows the United States grid system of town planning, the high quality of its internal finishes, its degree of survival with its major elements having been retained, and its group value with the nearby listed buildings.

 The entrances in Water Street and Brunswick Street lead into foyers. Each foyer has three painted and coffered saucer domes in the ceiling, supported by fluted Ionic columns in Travertine marble. There are doors to two lifts on each side. The shopping arcade has Travertine walls and floors, and a coffered barrel-vaulted ceiling with pendant lights.  Along the sides of the arcade are shops with decorative bronze fronts. Elsewhere on the ground floor are larger areas originally occupied by the bank, the Post Office and the public hall. The upper floors contain offices, some of which have retained their original layout, while others have been altered.

Picture: India BuildingsLiverpool’s historic India Buildings is to become a UK Government Hub, with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) occupying the majority of the space. The move will see HMRC become one of the largest employers in the city.

Around 3,500 HMRC staff will be based in the India Buildings which will become one of its state-of-the-art regional centres. HMRC is transforming its estate into 13 modern and cost-effective regional centres which will mean that it improve its woeful customer service while making it harder for so many people to cheat the system.

India Buildings is in the heart of the city and has excellent access to transport links and good digital infrastructure required by a modern tax authority to create great online services.

The Liverpool Regional Centre will provide HMRC with the opportunity to strengthen its relationships with the local community and become a visible and active contributor to the local area.

HMRC has acquired around 270,000 sq ft. and will occupy ten floors of the India Buildings with staff moving in from 2019.

Jon Thompson, Chief Executive of HMRC, said: “The signing of the lease for India Buildings gives us the opportunity to bring an iconic Liverpool building back to life, while providing staff with the flexible and collaborative working environment that is expected from a modern organisation – making the centre a hub of highly-skilled career opportunities.”

 

A brief history

India Buildings was built between 1924 and 1932. The competition for its design was won in 1923 by Arnold Thornely and Herbert J. Rowse, the assessor being Giles Gilbert Scott. It was built as a speculative venture by the shipping firm of Richard Durning Holt and Alfred Holt and Company (the Blue Funnel Line) partly for its own use, and partly for letting offices to other businesses. It was built by Dove Brothers of Islington, its steelwork being made and erected by Dorman Long of Middlesbrough.

The cost of the building was £1.25 million.

The building replaced an older one on the site known as India Building's, built in the 1830s for George Holt, the father of Alfred. The new building was constructed in two stages, the first stage being alongside the earlier building, and the second stage demolishing and replacing it.  The two stages straddled the former Chorley Street. Before the design was approved, Liverpool Corporation stipulated that an arcade of shops should run through the centre of the building on the route of the street, and this was incorporated into the design. The original occupants included Lloyds Bank, a Post Office, commercial and insurance companies, solicitors, and government offices. Alfred Holt and Company occupied most of the sixth, seventh and eighth floors. Also in the building were a public hall and a constitutional club. India Building was badly damaged by bombing in 1941, and was later restored to its original condition under the supervision of Herbert J. Rowse.

India Building was designated as a Grade II listed building on 14 March 1975.  Following a campaign by the Twentieth Century Society, its designation was raised to Grade II* on 5 November 2013.  One of the reasons given for this elevation in status is its transatlantic influence, reflecting Liverpool's historic links with the United States, stating that it "emulates the most impressive early 20th-century commercial buildings of the US", particularly those in New York.

Other reasons include its architectural interest, including influences from the Italian Renaissance and the American Beaux-Arts movement, and the eminence of its architects. Also noted are its planning interest, in that it follows the United States grid system of town planning, the high quality of its internal finishes, its degree of survival with its major elements having been retained, and its group value with the nearby listed buildings.

 The entrances in Water Street and Brunswick Street lead into foyers. Each foyer has three painted and coffered saucer domes in the ceiling, supported by fluted Ionic columns in Travertine marble. There are doors to two lifts on each side. The shopping arcade has Travertine walls and floors, and a coffered barrel-vaulted ceiling with pendant lights.  Along the sides of the arcade are shops with decorative bronze fronts. Elsewhere on the ground floor are larger areas originally occupied by the bank, the Post Office and the public hall. The upper floors contain offices, some of which have retained their original layout, while others have been altered.

Picture: India Buildings

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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