Maritime Knowledge Hub Peel LP p. If We Ran The Zoo

The £25m research and education facility is part of Wirral Waters. Credit: via If We Ran The Zoo

Wirral approves £25m Maritime Knowledge Hub

Peel L&P will now bring a prized grade-two listed hydraulic generation station back to life as a research and education facility.

Ellis Williams Architects has drawn up the plans for the station’s conversion into the Maritime Knowledge Hub. The project will bring the vacant building back into sustainable use, also creating a four-storey extension.

The hydraulic tower building sits within the Four Bridges quarter of the East Float development zone within Wirral Waters.

The facility will provide 45,000 sq ft of office and research space, as well as 58,000 sq ft to be used for teaching. The former engine house will be converted into a café, and the former accumulator tower into an exhibition area.

Part of Wirral Waters, the scheme will be delivered in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Wirral Council, and Mersey Maritime.

Built in 1968, the hydraulic station formerly supplied power to Birkenhead Docks.

Maritime Knowledge Hub wide

The Maritime Knowledge Hub will provide 45,000 sq ft of office space. Credit: via If We Ran The Zoo

The wider regeneration project is a £4.5bn transformation of 500-acres of former docklands, acquired by Peel L&P in 2005 when it bought Mersey Docks and Harbour Company.

Richard Mawdsley, director of development for Wirral Waters at Peel L&P, said: “The project will continue Wirral’s proud maritime heritage; create new jobs and economic growth for the Liverpool City Region; and it will also, through research and innovation, help Wirral to be at the forefront of the creation of a decarbonised global maritime industry that is fit for a more sustainable and green future.”

Proposals for the hub were first announced in 2014, with plans submitted in May 2022.

Maritime Knowledge Hub

The grade-two listed power station was built in 1863. Credit: via If We Ran The Zoo

Cllr Tony Jones, chair of Wirral Council’s economy, regeneration and housing committee, said: “The Maritime Knowledge Hub will play a crucial role in helping us supply the maritime specialists of the future, while also cementing our place at the forefront of this industry.

“Wirral Council has backed this project all the way and I’m pleased the planning committee have also seen the value of the hub.”

In addition to Ellis Williams Architects, also part of the project team is landscape architect Bcal, engineer Curtins, and planning consultant Eden. Mel Morris Conservation is consulting on the site’s heritage.

The contractor has not been named yet.

Work is expected to start on site later this year. Construction will take around 18 months.

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The building was constructed before 1968 it has damage sustained during the war at one side and used to have accommodation in the building at one time

By David Burden

It would be fantastic if the lead architects included the lantern and clocks

By Cavan monaghan

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