Financial close for Liverpool Library PFI

The Inspire Partnership consortium, comprising Babcock & Brown spinout Amber Infrastructure and developer Shepherd Construction, have announced financial close of the Liverpool Library private finance initiative. The project includes £51m of debt from Nationwide and Helaba.

Inspire Partnership, comprising majority sponsor Amber Infrastructure and design-and-build contractor Shepherd Construction, have announced financial close for the Liverpool Library private finance initiative (PFI) project in north-west England. PFI is the UK’s standardised process for tendering public works to the private sector.

Funding for the project comprises 89.5 percent senior debt totalling £51 million (€61 million; $78 million), which is being provided by the UK’s Nationwide Building Society and German bank Helaba; and 10.5 percent equity capital and subordinated debt provided by Amber (80 percent of the total) and Shepherd (20 percent).

The project is a Liverpool City Council legacy project as part of the 2008 Liverpool European Capital of Culture programme. It involves the design, build, maintenance and financing of the redevelopment of the Liverpool Central Library and Archive, which is located on a World Heritage site.

Refurbishment and construction will begin in October this year and is expected to take approximately two years, with the library due to reopen to the public in late 2012. The scheme will see the restoration of Grade II parts of the building dating back to 1850 (around 3,000 square metres) and the replacement of the remaining library space (around 8,200 square metres).

Amber Infrastructure is the former public-private partnership (PPP) team within Babcock and Brown, which spun out of the organisation last year. On its website, it says it has originated, developed, invested in and managed over 50 PFI and PPP investments in the last ten years.