by Shelby Hamilton 12-10-2022

Look inside abandoned city centre banks - The Liverpool Echo


The ECHO has taken a look inside a pair of abandoned historic banks in the centre of Liverpool, which are set to be transformed into restaurants and hotels.

The former NatWest Bank and the old Bank of England buildings are both located on Castle Street, in the shadow of the town hall. The stretch is home to some of the grandest and oldest buildings in the city which are now occupied by restaurants, bars, hotels and serviced apartments.

The two properties have been acquired by JSM Group, a property investment firm which owns large swathes of the city, including numerous venues on Concert Square.

Matt Crebbin of JSM told the ECHO: “They are both beautiful buildings both inside and out and have held huge historical importance to the city. When the opportunity was presented to us to purchase, we jumped at the chance. As a Liverpool-based company, we care about the city so we like nothing more than breathing new life into properties that may have laid dormant previously.”

The grand former banking hall in the old NatWest building has been empty since 2017 and JSM bought it in January 2021. The building was constructed in a renaissance style between 1898 and 1901 and has retained its decorative domed ceiling and period fireplaces.

JSM has been approached by a number of brands about occupying the space, including some that already have a presence in the city. The upper floors are also set to become a hotel, with discussions ongoing with a number of potential operators.



The former banking hall features decorative ceilings, panelled walls and even historic fireplaces (Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool ECHO)

Over the road, the former Bank of England building on the corner of Castle Street and Cook Street has been collecting dust for decades. It’s Grade I-listed, one 27 in the city, joining the likes of the Albert Dock, Bluecoat Chambers and the Royal Liver Building.

The property was opened by the bank in the 1820s in a bid to establish the city’s financial centre on Castle Street. The building combines a number of neoclassical architectural styles; the sandstone façade complete with pillars give it an air of splendour.

The space, which includes a partially covered rear area currently used as a car park, could be in line to be revived by a luxury dining brand.

Matt added: “Both buildings already have that ‘wow factor’ due to their history and grandeur architecture. A leisure operator would be able to incorporate this into their own concept.”


The former Bank of England building – which is Grade I-listed – is being eyed by a high-end dining group (Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool ECHO)