Joy Open Door charity p Pegasus Group

Architectural Emporium is the designer behind Joy, one of the approved Birkenhead Town Deal projects. Credit: via Pegasus Group

Birkenhead building could become wellbeing centre

Plans have been lodged to transform the Treasury Annex Building by Hamilton Square into a health and cultural facility known as Joy.

Joy is the creation of Open Door Charity, a Merseyside-based organisaton that uses art and talking therapies to help treat and support those struggling with mental health.

Open Door has received support from Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust on the Joy project, which was also part of Wirral Council’s successful £25m Town Deal award.

If approved, Joy will call the Treasury Annex Building home.

The Treasury Annex Building sits at 2 Cleveland Street in Birkenhead. Under the plans, submitted for Open Door by planning consultant Pegasus Group, the building would have a roof addition and a 3,200 sq ft extension. This would expand the space to more than 26,600 sq ft.

According to designs by Architectural Emporium, the former office building would be adjusted to have a series of consultation and treatment rooms, casual workspaces, teaching areas, workshops, artist studios, communal canteen, and performance and conference spaces. Several commercial units that would be available for leasing are also included.

Access to Joy would be from a new entrance on Cleveland Street, with a separate service access via Sandford Street.

The proposals will see the loss of 27 car parking spaces at the site, with only nine included in the plans. The application also calls for the addition of 10 cycle spaces and five motorcycle ones.

Pegasus Group estimates that Joy will create more than 100 jobs upon completion.

Darren Muir, associate at Pegasus Group, described the benefits of the scheme.

“Making the most efficient use of our existing buildings is vital to achieving our carbon reduction goals,” Muir said.

“This kind of project will not only act as a catalyst for regeneration of the wider area but provides a fantastic service for the community in one of the country’s most deprived neighbourhoods.

“There is some real momentum in Birkenhead at the moment with some fantastic developments coming forward. Soon we will stop describing Birkenhead as an area of deprivation and start seeing it as a centre for arts, culture, and economic growth.”

Work turning the Joy plans into reality will start in the summer of 2023, pending planning permission. The application’s reference number with Wirral Council is APP/22/01809.

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