LLOYDS Banking Group has confirmed it is selling one of its buildings and a car park, which will be used to create the first phase of a new £1bn business quarter.

Lloyds will only need two of its three buildings at the Hoole Lane site due to downsizing as a result of the banking crisis.

The bank is in talks to sell Premier House and its car park nearest the railway station to Muse Developments, which would redevelop the area as the first phase of the quarter.

Lloyds spokeswoman Nicole Sharp confirmed the sale was in progress.

Bank staff have told the Chronicle they will be moving out of Premier House soon, although it is currently ‘packed’ with contractors dealing with customers’ payment protection insurance claims.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s long-term vision for the business quarter could see between 2,500 and 5,000 people employed.

Set around a public square fronting the canal, the scheme could feature cultural and leisure facilities, including shops, bars, galleries, an outdoor music venue, a hotel and conference facilities.

The council hopes to attract large corporations into the city centre as Chester Business Park is now said to be at capacity.

Artists’ impressions show glass buildings which a development framework suggests could be four and five-storeys high, and up to eight storeys at key locations, all featuring low-energy technology.

The vision document says the ambitious 500,000sq ft scheme would address the lack of Grade A office accommodation and may attract Government departments if Whitehall is broken up and relocated to cheaper parts of the UK.