Hamilton Oakmont has started work on the conversion of Hoylake’s Victorian civic building in Wirral into a cinema and arts centre.
The property will become the Beacon Arts Village, with a two-screen cinema, a restaurant, a bar, a café, and 6,000 sq ft of creative studios and retail spaces for artists and retailers around a central courtyard.
In following phases, the upper floors of the building will become 40 apartments. Funding is set to come from the private sector.
The developer Hylgar Properties is currently in negotiations with a cinema operator and food and beverage operators.
Phase two is planned for spring 2020, which is when the building will be fitted out. The overall scheme is set to complete and open to the public by the end of 2020.
The building was first opened in 1898. In more recent years, it was home to the monthly pop-up Hoylake Community Cinema, along with a number of small creative enterprises including film production company Mad as Birds, which will retain its base in the building.
The tenant mix for the units is to be managed by Hoylake-based artist Terry Duffy, who is the chair of the British Art and Design Association.
Wirral-based Hylgar Properties is the developer, while the architect is Falconer Chester Hall, and the construction consultant is Brian Corfe, managing partner of BIAC Consultants.
David Burke of Hylgar Properties, said: “We have brought together a very strong and experienced team and are delighted to have appointed Hamilton Oakmont, a company well known for sensitive building conversions, as well as Brian Corfe, who will bring his deep expertise to bear on a project which is eagerly awaited by the Hoylake and West Wirral communities.
“Given the historical nature of the buildings, all works carried out will be sympathetic to the existing buildings’ design with full support from the local conservation officer. We will also be working with an interior design company to ensure that, where possible, existing historical features will be retained.”