Abandoned building set for new lease of life

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Collective Seel Street logo. Pic © Lydia Baggs JMU Journalism

An ambitious project is underway to transform a building that has been derelict for decades by bringing it back to life as a series of new businesses.

Collective is a bar concept that will house five independent firms under the same roof.

Over the next 12 months, Collective will embark on a journey to reform one of Seel Street’s oldest abandoned buildings and bring something unique to the area.

After being derelict for 30 years, the empty structure is finally being transformed into what Collective describe as an “independent success”.

‘The Bar that Stole Christmas’ is to be the first of the five concepts to open up. The festive extravaganza, opening at the end of November, is set to appeal to anyone looking for a place to ‘rock around the Christmas tree’.

A Collective spokesperson said: “This will not be the usual run of the mill winter wonderland. ‘The Bar That Stole Christmas’ will be a Scouser’s answer to a late night grotto serving up a whole host of Christmas classics to wash down a mince pie with.”

Three business entrepreneurs, all with years of experience in the hospitality industry, have founded the Collective project. Joe Marayanji, Fred Hobbs and Shaun Quek say they value the importance of independent businesses and targeted their “Scouse mentality” to supporting the local economy.

Twitter: Lydia Baggs

Mr Maryanji, one of the business owners, told JMU Journalism: “There was such huge potential for the city and we had so many ideas of what we could transform the building into. So, we decided to combine all our ideas collectively and put them under one roof.”

Striving to preserve the history of the building and provide independent businesses with a foothold, Collective is looking to achieve a venue that is “great for everyone and slightly different than anything before”.

With one bar set to open in the next few weeks, the other four are not far behind.

Plans are in place to bring an intimate café/wine bar, a party bar and an American-inspired speakeasy in an attempt to redefine Seel Street’s nightlife reputation.

To spread the Christmas cheer that little bit further, Collective has also partnered with several local charities to support those less fortunate during the festive period.

Twitter: Collective Seel

About Lydia Baggs, JMU Journalism