ONE of Liverpool's more unusual shopping venues last night vowed to fight tooth and nail to survive an £800m city centre redevelopment plan.
Quiggins Centre, on School Lane, occupies a key site within the councilbacked Grosvenor Henderson masterplan for the centre of Liverpool.
A knock-through from Church Street will leave the five-storey Quiggins site as the "front door" to the entire redevelopment of the Paradise Street area.
It is hoped that Grosvenor, owned by Britain's richest man, the Duke of Westminster, can transform Liverpool's retail fortunes, attracting major names such as House of Fraser and Debenham's.
The Quiggins site, which supports 45 businesses and 250 jobs, is earmarked to host a major retailer, angering those who currently occupy it.
Director Peter Tierney, who co-founded Quiggins with brother James in 1986, said: "The council owns the freehold on the building but we have 35 years left on our lease and we will still be here then.
"We will fight tooth and nail to stay. We have not even got anywhere close to the potential of Quiggins.
"If you look at how Camden Market in London developed, it started with the nucleus of something like Quiggins.
"We support the regeneration of the city centre but we want to be part of it.
"This building was empty when we moved in and now all the units are full.
"We offer a unique cultural shopping experience which attracts people to shop in the city centre.
"Yet no one has even formally spoken to us yet about our future.
"The uncertainty has definitely hit trade.
"They just don't recognise the importance of a place like this.
"They see us as a blot on the landscape ."
Mr Tierney has started legal proceedings to stop any representative of Grosvenor even entering the centre, fearful that they might try to move Quiggins' tenants elsewhere.
If no agreement is reached, Mr Tierney has pledged to take his battle for the survival of Quiggins through the courts. He says he already has a £5m investment plan for Quiggins, including building apartments on the upper floors.
A spokeswoman for Liverpool City Council last night insisted that Quiggins had been treated in exactly the same way as any of the other parties involved: "There has been a very wide consultation process regarding the Grosvenor Henderson scheme, involving exhibitions and meetings which Quiggins has been well aware of," she said.
"No decisions on the scheme have been taken yet and it is expected to come up for planning permission in September."
No-one at Grosvenor was available for comment last night.