Salford-based OMI Architects has been appointed to carry out an architectural study into the derelict Wellington Rooms in Liverpool, better known locally as the Irish Centre, with a view to bringing the building back into use.
The detailed study has been commissioned by Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Preservation Trust, the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moore’s University, and will reveal the condition of the building in order to provide options and costings for refurbishment.
The grade two-listed building, originally used for high society dance balls and as the Irish Centre, is situated on Mount Pleasant. It has been closed since 1997.
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.
OMI Architects’ team is made up of Alan Gardner Associates, Poole Dick Associates, Hoare Lea, Keppie Massie, and DP Squared.
Mark Kitts, Liverpool City Council’s assistant director for regeneration, said: “The Wellington Rooms is right at the top of our priority list for action. It has an amazing history and is hugely important to the people of the city. We are only at the start of what will be a long journey to return it back to its former glory, but we are now starting to make progress in working with partners to identify a deliverable a sustainable end use.”