Seven wins Wirral Youth Zone brief

The Manchester-based architecture practice has been appointed to design the £6m Wirral Youth Zone in Birkenhead.

The facility run by charity OnSide will offer a range of activities for young people aged between eight and 19, and up to 25 for those with a disability, including dance, sport, fitness, music and media.

The 27,000 sq ft building will be known as the Hive, and is planned for a site next to the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service in Exmouth Street. External space around the block will be used for a skate park and multi-use games area.

The plot was donated to the youth charity by the fire service which is charging a peppercorn rent for 125 years.

Seven Architecture beat five other practices and was appointed by panel of judges consisting of local young people and representatives of the Youth Zone board.

A planning application is due to be submitted in March. Subject to planning permissing, the facility is expected to open at the end of 2016.

The opening of the Wirral Youth Zone follows the success of OnSide's projects in Carlisle, Wigan, Blackburn, Oldham and Manchester.

The Hive's capital cost of £6m is being funded by Wirral Council and a number of other private funders.

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