Birkenhead creative hub takes shape with purchase
Social enterprise Make CIC has taken ownership of the former Riverside Housing headquarters using funds from Wirral’s successful £25m Town Deal award.
Make is set to transform the 17,000 sq ft 69 Argyle Street into a series of creative, cultural, and community spaces. The building will also house a café and, at some point later, a roof garden.
The group, also purchased a nearby car park on Lorn Street with the Town Deal funds, with aims to turn it into a community garden.
Make has begun work on refurbishing 69 Argyle Street, with hopes of moving into the space this summer.
“After four years of dedication and perseverance, the realisation of permanence in Birkenhead marks a significant milestone for Make,” said Make chief operations officer Kirsten Little.
“Stemming from the triumph of Wirral Borough of Culture and the unwavering support of Wirral Council, we’ve achieved a remarkable feat as an art organisation – the acquisition of our own building,” she continued.
“Often artists are faced with a very different picture, one where temporary or meanwhile spaces means being moved on from the very environments we’ve added colour to. To be able to put down permanent roots is a massive stride for an organisation like our own.”
The Argyle Street building will replace the current Make space at the Treasury Building off Hamilton Square. This building will then be leased to charity Open Door, who will use it to provide mental health and wellbeing services. Open Door will rename the building Joy. Joy is also a Town Deal project.
Architectural Emporium designed the Make’s forthcoming Argyle Street home. Planning permission for the project had been secured in April last year, which enabled the group to begin work quickly once the acquisition completed.
Make chief executive Liam Kelley said that the facility would be a “building for the creative community of Wirral”.
Kelly continued: “We will move our current hive of activity down the road to bring Argyle Street to life, alongside our new neighbours Future Yard. These are really exciting times for Wirral and Birkenhead, and we look forward to inviting you all in when we open later this year.”
In addition to the future Argyle Street building, Make operates space for its communities of creatives and makers in Huyton and Liverpool.