Toxteth Church undergoes £2.2m transformation

The derelict St Bernard’s Catholic Church in Liverpool has been developed into 16 affordable homes by Housing People Building Communities and Onward Homes.

Both developers worked in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Liverpool to help complete the scheme. Ainsley Gorman Architects, Hamptons NW Development, quantity surveyor Wilkinson Cowan and Sutcliffe Engineering also aided the delivery of the project.

Ainsley Gorman provided the initial drawings free of charge and the Archdiocese of Liverpool gifted the building and land.

The future residents also helped to build the homes by completing 500 hours of sweat equity each, totalling 10,000 hours of unpaid labour, in order to reduce their deposit on the properties by £10,000. Their sweat equity contribution included everything from painting to website design.

The homes include four two-bedroom apartments, ten three-bedroom and one four-bedroom homes all contained within the church, and one detached three-bedroom home within the grounds. The church has retained architectural features including the original stained-glass windows and vaulted arches.

This is the latest project from HPBC which built 32 homes on neighbouring Alt Street and Kinglsey Road.

HPBC chief executive Liza Parry said: “It has shaped a new community and it’s given us a tremendous boost to finalise the development so the properties can become a home for so many who have worked so hard.”

Lin Powell, head of development at Onward, said: “This innovative project wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic collaboration of all the partners involved.

“I’d like to thank HPBC for choosing to work with Onward on this ambitious development, and would particularly like to thank the contractor Hampton Developments NW for how they have fully embraced the ethos of the project and supported the home partners to ensure they completed their sweat equity hours.”

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