Plans to turn landmark city shopping centre into 'new Quiggins' - The Liverpool Echo
Cavern Walks could be transformed into a hotel and shopping destination full of Liverpool independents after the building was sold, with its new owner hoping to recreate the pull of alternative indoor market Quiggins.
Cavern Walks was built in the 1980s and was packed full of high-end boutiques in the 1990s and early noughties, but has suffered a decline in recent years.
The site has now been acquired from Signature Living by a joint venture between JSM Company Group and Greenwood Developments, which is headed by property investor Craig Greenwood.
JSM, which owns numerous bars on Mathew Street, is hoping to turn the shopping units on the ground floor into a haven for independent and “quirky” retailers.
Matt Crebbin, of JSM, told the ECHO: “Being located on Mathew Street and carrying the Cavern name, both synonymous with The Beatles and Liverpool, made this such an attractive investment. We are genuinely excited to reinvigorate Cavern Walks and make it a site that both locals and visitors to the city will want visit. Our intention is to attract independent and unique operators to create a more alternative environment.”
In its heyday, Quiggins provided a meeting place for punks, goths and everyone in between. The original School Lane indoor market shut in 2006, with a number of retailers moving to Grand Central, but the magic couldn’t be recreated and that closed in 2018.
Matt added: “As a Liverpool based company, we know how popular Quiggins was and how it is still fondly remembered. We would love to create a similar experience in Cavern Walks.”
JSM has been approached by “numerous retailers” who are “interested in the vacant units”. Matt said: “We need to ensure we’re getting the right tenants who share our vision. This will be our initial focus in the upcoming weeks.”
(Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool ECHO)
Elsewhere in the shopping arcade, Cavern Walks’ famous atrium will be boarded over and its staircase removed to make way for a new hotel on the upper floors, which used to be office space.
Signature Living had earmarked Cavern Walks for a hotel after buying the building in 2018 and had started some of the fit-out before entering administration in 2021.
Craig has retained the planning permission, with hopes to transform the space into a 125 to 150 room hotel with a function room and cinema room. He told the ECHO it’s an “iconic space, plain and simple”.
“I am ecstatic to be leading the renovation at Cavern Walks. It is an iconic space in our city and I am sure, with the thorough care and effort we will give to the project, we will usher in an exciting new era for an already legendary location.”
ECHO readers recently shared their fond memories of Cavern Walks from the 1990s and early noughties. The shopping centre was a haunt of WAGs and local celebrities, with famous names such as Cricket, Vivienne Westwood and Kids Cavern trading from there.