Joy, Birkenhead

Client

Open Door

Size

Full redevelopment of Treasury Annex Building and creation of 300sqm new floorspace

Sectors

Health, Education and Community

Council

Wirral Council

Key Project Information

  • Full-scale redevelopment of the Treasury Annex Building to create a brand-new hub for health and wellbeing, with arts and culture at its core.
  • The hub will serve as a national centre of excellence in how the arts and culture can be used to reimagine how mental health is supported and understood.
  • The charity-run project is one of several projects funded by the Town Deal Investment Fund that we are working on in the Liverpool City Region.

CHALLENGES OVERCOME

Resourcing and staff workloads at local planning authorities across the country are a real issue and Wirral Council is no different. To overcome this we engaged informally with officers prior to submission and kept the lines of communication open. This pro-active approach from both sides meant any queries or issues that did arise could be negotiated and dealt with swiftly.

Additionally, we had to carefully consider the potential impact of physical changes to the building might have on setting of the adjacent conservation area. We worked closely with officers to devise a scheme that was as sensitive as it was ambitious and forward-thinking. The conservation area is on the national Heritage at Risk register, so we saw the opportunity to deliver the investment needed to preserve the significance of the conservation area.

LONG TERM BENEFITS

Over the past nine years, Open Door has grown to become one of the largest independent providers of talking therapies in Merseyside and one of the most progressive organisations of its kind in the UK. It was recently awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in the 2019 Honours List.

This forward-thinking and community-focused project will deliver huge social benefits for local communities in Wirral:

  • Deliver world-class healthcare provision in one of the country‚Äôs most deprived neighbourhoods.
  • Support vulnerable members of the community in a safe and inclusive setting
  • Offer arts and cultural education to users, broadening skills and opportunities.
  • Provide new cycle and e-bike charging facilities, delivering active travel improvements.

Beyond these transformative social impacts, the project will have a knock-on effect on the local economy and environment:

  • The project directly supports the wider ambitions of the Regeneration Strategy for Wirral.
  • It will deliver new commercial units to let alongside the NHS health and wellbeing services.
  • It will create over 100 new jobs directly and support the local economy with the provision of a new workspace, leisure facilities, events space, gallery, conference space and artist workshops.
  • The arts and culture offer will help attract new visitors to the area.
  • The scheme makes best use of an existing and underutilised building of significant local merit.
  • Significant investment into the social and economic development of the conservation area, which is on the heritage at risk register.
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