Friday April 13 2018

Liverpool church to be transformed into homes

Work has started on a £2.7m housing project to convert the former St Bernards Catholic church on Kingsley Road in Toxteth, Liverpool into 16 affordable homes.

Liverpool church to be transformed into homes


Award winning charity Housing People, Building Communities (HPBC) will work in partnership with Onward (formerly Liverpool Housing Trust) to create eleven three-storey townhouses within the shell of the church, which dates back to 1901.

On the former parish hall site adjacent to the church, a 3 bedroom detached house will be built along with four 2 bedroom ‘cottage style’ apartments, each with its own external front door. All properties are for shared ownership.

While not listed, St Bernard’s is one of the few surviving Victorian buildings in the area, and is considered a building of interest, having been designed by Pugin & Pugin (the sons of Augustus Pugin, the architect who designed the interior of the Houses of Parliament).

In order to preserve the integrity of this historic building, Wirral-based architects Ainsley Gommon has kept external alterations to a minimum and incorporated as many original features into the properties as possible.  Two of the townhouses will have carved stone fonts in their hallways and many will benefit from the large church windows. 

HPBC was gifted the church by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool, with the purpose of turning it into affordable homes.  This follows their success at delivering the award-winning Kingsley RoadAlt Street housing project on the derelict former church school site adjacent to the church. 

Bronwen Rapley, chief executive of Onward, the housing company undertaking the development work with the charity, said: “It is wonderful to be working alongside HPBC to save this much-loved building and breathe new life into it. It’s a privilege to be able to repurpose this piece of Liverpool’s heritage and deliver much needed quality family housing for the area. Onward Homes is committed to providing a range of housing choices for local people in Liverpool and throughout Merseyside, and we would look to replicate this partnership model in the future if the opportunity arose.”

HPBC has devised an innovative approach to helping people get on the property ladder. Their ‘sweat equity’ initiative enables potential homeowners to reduce their deposit by £10,000 by giving 500 hours of work to the development.  This could range from manual labour to offering a particular skill or talent. 

The HPBC team will work with Onward and its contractor to ensure that home partner sweat equity forms an integral part of the St Bernard’s Church conversion.

Rev’d Dr Shannon Ledbetter, founder and chair of HPBC said: “We’ve already had a lot of interest in the properties. Through the ‘sweat equity’ programme people will naturally feel a profound sense of ownership and pride in their neighbourhood, as they will have invested their time as well as money in the development. The success of our previous development means we have a strong, engaged community here already, and this church redevelopment will further build on that. We have a wonderfully diverse group of residents of all ages from families through to older people and it’s so rewarding to see the community spirit that has developed over a relatively short amount of time.”

To mark the start of building work, Liza Parry and Bronwen Rapley were joined on site by John Dalglish from Wavertree and Colette Byrne from Hunts Cross, who both want to sign up for houses in the church under the sweat equity scheme. Also at the event was Deputy Mayor Cllr Ann O’Byrne, a long standing supporter of HPBC who said: “I’m passionate about delivering more housing for the people of Liverpool and I would very much like to see the charity replicate its unique model in other parts of the city. I’m pleased Onward is working with HPBC to facilitate this.”

The development work will take 18 months and is due to be completed late 2019.

The contractor is Liverpool based Hampton Developments NW.

For more information on Onward visit onward.co.uk and for information on HPBC visit hpbc.org.uk

"It is wonderful to be working alongside HPBC to save this much-loved building and breathe new life into it."
Bronwen Rapley, chief executive of Onward

DISCLAIMER: The statements, opinions, views and advice expressed in this article are those of the author/organisation and not of ENTIRELY. This article should represent information correct at the time of publication however whilst every care has been taken to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. ENTIRELY will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article or any information accessed through this site. The content of any organisations websites which you link to from ENTIRELY are entirely out of the control of ENTIRELY, and you proceed at your own risk. These links are provided purely for your convenience and do not imply any endorsement of or association with any products, services, content, information or materials offered by or accessible to you at the organisations site.


Siemens helps Hall go green

Siemens is helping the worldfamous Hall orchestra cut its costs by 35 through energy reduction.It has created an integrated digital solution to make Hall St Peters, the historic recording and rehearsal venue in Manchester, highly energy efficient.The new 4

Scenic winter walking routes in Cumbria

Taking a muchneeded break from the festive frenzy can be a blessing, and while you might be tempted to stay indoors and recoup, a winter walk could be the perfect way to reenergize. The whole family can get involvedIt can be difficult to unwind during the lead up to Christmas

Discover the latest Industry News & Opinions on Entirely

We build powerful Financial Models for critical business decision makers.