Gibsonhouse 07 (1)
From left: Mick Howarth (Nautilus), Cllr Janette Williamson, Mike Jess, Rob Blackwell (Prospect), Phil Lee (Space Plus), Craig Blackwell. Picture credit: Stuart Bogg Imaging

Redevelopment proposed for Wallasey landmark

Nautilus Welfare Trust, Wirral Council and developer Prospect Capital have agreed in principle a scheme for the redevelopment of Andrew Gibson House, a derelict building formerly a home for the widows of retired seafarers.

The project has been enabled by Wirral Council agreeing to sell a small plot of land next to the Gibson site to Prospect, making this scheme deliverable after a previous proposal for redevelopment stalled in 2016. The scheme will now see the derelict building, owned by Nautilus, to be converted into apartments, with further residential development and a new accommodation block built for the charity close to Andrew Gibson House.

Nautilus’ senior policy advisor Mike Jess said: “This agreement is a win-win for everyone. We have been seeking to do something with the Gibson House site for many years, and this three-way partnership makes it possible for the proceeds to go back to the charity to enable the development of new facilities for retired seafarers. The 30 new extra-care accommodation places will help to meet an increasingly acute need.”

Prospect Capital is also working with Wilcocks & Wilcocks on the Ovatus scheme in Liverpool, which will see more than 500 apartments planned for the Old Hall Street area. Managing director Craig Blackwell said: “This is a great piece of local heritage. By working together ourselves, Nautilus and Wirral Council have come up with a solution that preserves the building, and gives Nautilus the quality future accommodation they need. It’s an outstanding location, and a development that combines sensitive restoration with high quality modern design will be a great enhancement of the Wirral waterfront.”

Prospect is working with Liverpool-based architect Space Plus, which said that it is hopeful that a full planning application can be submitted early in the New Year, with work on the restoration of Andrew Gibson House itself, which has stood empty for ten years, starting in the spring.

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It looks like a fabulous old building! and think we forget some of the outstanding architecture that is around Wallasey and Birkenhead.

By Russell Bolton

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