Sorry for delay, I only recently found time to take a look at the car. The job was super easy in the end.
The silver trim for the HVAC controls and gear leaver shroud all come off in one go. It's just held in with trim clips so just some gentle leveraging with trim tools and the panel popped off and I could access the shift changing mech. The opening was a bit cramped but I could access everything OK. No need to take the whole centre console apart.