Civil servants at HM Revenue and Customs’ India Buildings hub in Liverpool have been told not to come into the office because it has flooded, CSW has learned.
Officials are investigating the source of a flood in the basement of the Grade II listed building on the aptly named Water Street, where some 5,000 HMRC staff work.
The building, which was built between 1924 and 1932, is currently closed to staff and will reopen when it is safe for them to return, an HMRC spokesperson told CSW.
There has been no damage to the building’s office space, they added.
Civil servants have been using the building since August 2021, but it was only officially opened in May because of Covid restrictions.
It is HMRC’s only regional centre based in a heritage building and opened after a four-year programme of restoration and refurbishment.
Plans to reconfigure the listed building for HMRC’s use, which included the closure of a public arcade, prompted a backlash from architecture campaigners in 2017.
Twentieth Century Society, which exists to conserve the nation’s modern built heritage, objected when planning permission was sought to reconfigure the building to secure the tax agency as a tenant.
The society questioned “why [HMRC] has chosen to consolidate in a Grade II* listed building which is renowned for its public arcade and the outstanding survival of original fittings throughout”.
Asked about the recent flooding, an HMRC spokesperson said: “Our regional centre in India Buildings suffered a flood in the basement on Saturday 16 July. There is no damage to any of the heritage features within the building.”