TWO bidders have been shortlisted to take over an historic south Liverpool mansion.
The Grade II-listed Calderstones Mansion House was put on the market at the start of the year by Liverpool council in a bid to save cash.
The authority received two bids by the closing date – two of which have now been shortlisted.
They are understood to be from The Reader Organisation – a Liverpool-based charity which promotes literacy – and a group called the Calderstones Trust. It is not yet known what they intend to do with the mansion house. But the council wants to make a decision early in the new year in order to prevent the historic mansion – which currently lies empty – falling into disrepair.
Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: “The process is going quite well and there is interest in the building. I’d like to see somebody there who will make sure the mansion house is brought back into a good condition and doesn’t continue to decline – and that it’s used for something that benefits the community. We will now be seeking more details from the shortlisted organisations about what they are proposing.”
There are a number of strict limitations on what alterations can be made to the mansion house because of its listed status. The building – which formerly housed council offices – was the most high-profile of a number of buildings put up for sale by the local authority in 2012. The council estimated it could raise up to £3.5m from the sale of its surplus sites, although it admitted there was no guarantee it would secure a buyer for any of them because of “the continued fragility of the property and financial markets”.
Other buildings which are not being marketed for sale will either be leased out to other users or in some cases – if no alternative use can be found – demolished.
The reason the buildings are no longer needed is because the council has fewer staff. Around 600 people who formerly worked in the buildings were relocated to city centre offices such as the municipal buildings, in Dale Street, and Millennium House.
A Liverpool city council spokesman said: “We received a number of bids, two of which have been shortlisted. We will be interviewing these bidders in the New Year with a view to making a decision shortly after.”