Council plots options for Irish Centre refurb
A study into the condition of the derelict Wellington Rooms in Liverpool has revealed that £120,000 of urgent repair works are required to protect the building, with the council set to apply to Historic England to joint fund the restoration.
OMI Architects was appointed in February to carry out an architectural report for building, known locally as the Irish Centre, with a view to bringing the building back into use.
The study was commissioned by Liverpool City Council, which owns the building, and Merseyside Preservation Trust, the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.
The grade two-listed building, originally used for high society balls and as the Irish Centre, is situated on Mount Pleasant. It has been closed since 1997, and is identified by Historic England as Liverpool’s top priority heritage building at risk.
Plans were approved for the Wellington Rooms to become a function suite in 2002 but never implemented, while applications for it to become a hotel in 2006 and 2007 was rejected because of the impact of a three-storey extension.
The University of Liverpool began working with Merseyside Building Preservation Trust and Liverpool City Council last year on plans for a feasibility study which could see the property brought back into use as an innovation hub to give students enterprise and entrepreneurship training, and provide office or function space.
A report to the council’s cabinet, due to meet on 25 November, seeks permission to progress with an application to Historic England to fund 60% of the costs of the urgent works, alongside plans to put together an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2017 to finance the conversion to the innovation centre.
Urgent repair works are expected to take four months.