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Thread: Irish Centre

  1. #1
    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Default Irish Centre

    LIVERPOOL'S Georgian assembly rooms will be brought back to its former glory if proposals to build a new boutique hotel on the site are agreed.

    The cost of restoring the Wellington Rooms to create a 49-bedroom hotel above is likely to be between £5-10m.

    The grade II* listed building, formerly used as Liverpool's Irish centre, is on the ECHO's Stop the Rot hitlist and is an English Heritage "build-ing at risk".

    Last year, the ECHO revealed plans by leaseholders New Dimensions Properties for a 60-bedroom hotel at the Mount Pleasant site.

    After discussions with English Heritage and city plan-ners, a formal application has now been submitted which reduces the rooms to 49 and sets them further back from the front of the building.

    Adam Hall, managing director at architects Falconer Chester, said: "The whole idea is to straddle the existing building with a metal structure, and have the hotel sitting above as has been done in many European cities.

    "It will be like the Free Trade Hall in Manchester which is now a Radisson Edwardian hotel."

    The scheme includes restoring the main assembly room as a function suite for parties, weddings and other events.

    A new restaurant and separate brasserie will be opened on the ground floor, together with the hotel entrance.

    The boutique hotel rooms, similar to the Hope Street hotel, will be created in a four-storey extension set above and behind the Mount Pleasant frontage.

    Mr Hall said: "If we get permission we could be on site in the autumn and finished by the end of 2007."

    A meeting is now being organised so New Dimensions can explain the plans to nearby residents and businesses.

    The Georgian building, named after Britain's victorious general in the Battle of Waterloo, was opened in 1816 and used for assemblies and balls.

    It was paid for by public subscription and the freehold is now owned by the city council.


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    Senior Member Paul D's Avatar
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    It's been criminally neglected for years so I hope it gets through planning.

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    Senior Member julia's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear they're restoring it and that their modifications/additions will be above the current structure (Not within it).

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    LIVERPOOL'S derelict former Irish Centre could be compulsorily purchased to become the home of the north west national dance centre. more
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    THE Bishop of Liverpool has banged heads together over the restoration of one of the city's most important landmarks. more
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    FKoE
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    After reading the article Kev posted....do you get the feeling there is 'rush jobs' going on ?

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FKoE View Post
    After reading the article Kev posted....do you get the feeling there is 'rush jobs' going on ?
    The Bishop's rushing u mean? I'm tending to agree with the Bishop about the Council knocking proposals back on an empty building.
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    FKoE
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    I'm agreeing wiv yer

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    A PRESTIGIOUS Merseyside building could crumble if a row over whether it should become a boutique hotel or a dance studio is

    not resolved, owners have warned.

    The former Irish Centre, on Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, has lain empty for nine years and is currently on the English

    Heritage Buildings At Risk register, with experts estimating repairs would cost £3m.

    But it is the focus of a fierce debate between hotel developers and

    Liverpool City Council, who could compulsorily purchase the building so it can be used by the North West National Dance Centre.

    The Flanagan group, which

    owns Liverpool's Sir Thomas Street Hotel, plans to convert the Grade II-listed property into a 48-bedroom hotel, which would be scheduled to open in summer,

    2008.

    Plans for the site, known as The Wellington Rooms, include restoring the main assembly room as a function suite for parties and weddings, and

    introducing a restaurant and separate brasserie.

    The bedrooms would be created in a four-storey extension, set above and behind the Mount Pleasant

    frontage.

    But experts say that, if restoration work does not start on the crumbling centre in the next 12 months, it could be beyond repair.

    Owner

    and entrepreneur Rauf Shaik bought the building in 2000 with a view to developing the site.

    He said: "When we acquired the building it had no real roof

    and we have already done a lot of work but we want to get going on the next stage of development.

    "We need some decisions soon because the building is

    infested with dry rot and within 12 months it will be beyond repair.

    "Every season that goes by without a decision weathers the building, so we want to

    start work straight away.

    "If the dance studio want to take it over then there needs to be a proper appraisal of how they will be able to sustain a

    building of this size over the next 20 years, which I doubt they would be able to raise enough funding to do."

    Paul Flanagan, owner of Flanagan Group,

    said there was a real gap in the market for boutique hotels. He said: "This would be a fantastic opportunity for our group and for Liverpool.

    "We could

    provide a secure future for the building which would be developed to the highest possible standards."

    However, the council plan to save the centre by

    making it the home of the North West National Dance Centre.

    Liverpool City Council's executive board are now starting negotiations to see if it can

    compulsorily purchase the building so it can be turned into a dance studio. It would have dance and theatre rehearsal space, studios and facilities for

    dancers to meet and perform.

    A council spokesman said: "We may consider issuing a compulsory purchase order on the building.

    "We are at a stage where

    a preliminary application was submitted, but changes need to be made because we need to be careful that any changes are in keeping with the character of the

    building.

    The dance studio was one of the ideas put forward for the centre but we need to look at a range of options."

    The Wellington Rooms were

    designed by Edmund Akin as assembly rooms for the Wellington Club in 1815-1816.

    It was built with the purpose of providing a venue for balls and other

    entertainment and was designed to attract Liverpool's most "respectable and fashionable" residents.

    Merseyside business leaders last night backed the

    developers' scheme for the property, which would involve alterations to the building, including an upwards extension to accommodate hotel guests.

    Frank

    McKenna, chairman of private sector lobby group Downtown Liverpool In Business, said: "This building is in a key location, and is in urgent need of

    redevelopment and restoration."

    "A group of Liverpool companies with a track record of delivery have the ideas and the financial package to deliver a

    truly fabulous project."

    source....
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  10. #10
    Newbie Scouse_mouse's Avatar
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    Smile im glad

    im

    glad that this beautiful building is to be restored but i am sad in many ways as i remember as a child family afternoons were always fun in there and wish it

    was to be used as the irish centre again

  11. #11
    Senior Member Paul D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse_mouse View Post
    im glad that this beautiful building is to be restored but i am sad in many ways as i remember as a child family

    afternoons were always fun in there and wish it was to be used as the irish centre again
    Hell scousemouse I'm not so sure you'll be happy

    when you see what they want to do with it,see the development summary.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Dance

    community set to revive Irish centre

    Nov 1 2006
    Liverpool Echo

    LIVERPOOL’S dance community has unveiled its plans to return

    the city’s Irish Centre to past glories as a dance hall.

    Dance North West hopes its plans will win council backing – ending the hopes of a rival

    project which involves the Irish Centre – also known as the Wellington Rooms – becoming a hotel.

    It is hoped such a scheme would lead to dance stars

    of the future flocking to Liverpool.

    Under the scheme presented by Liverpool’s dance community, the grade II* listed building on Mount Pleasant could

    also be transformed into dance studios and rehearsal rooms.

    A cafe and restaurant would be fitted with the basement renovated to include changing

    rooms and showers.



    Story continues...

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    Senior Member shytalk's Avatar
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    That sounds like the best plan for it so

    far.
    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Police are handed dossier on Irish Centre row
    May 17 2007
    by Larry Neild, Liverpool Daily Post

    A LABOUR Party dossier has been handed to Merseyside detectives claiming a veteran Liberal Democrat councillor used her influence to help block plans to redevelop the former Irish Centre, in Mount Pleasant.

    The councillor, Flo Clucas, has also been reported to the Standards Board of England, the official standards watchdog for politicians.

    Last night Cllr Clucas, the council’s executive member for economic and European affairs, strenuously denied the allegations, levelled by Labour leader Joe Anderson.

    Two detectives from Merseyside CID arrived at the Municipal Building, in Dale Street, to interview Cllr Anderson and collect the dossier, which runs into several hundred pages.

    Merseyside Police said: “We can confirm a complaint has been made alleging inappropriate procedures by a Liverpool City councillor. We are currently looking at the matter to see if any offences have been committed but it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

    Story continues...

    See also Liverpool subCulture: FLO, FLO, QUICK-QUICK, FLO!

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    Member munchkim's Avatar
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    The Irish Centre(former Wellington Rooms) is fabulous building with a great history attached to it. It breaks my heart that it has been left vacant for so long - it must be close to ten years now. I would support any viable scheme that brings the building back into use while retaining its architectural, integrity. The only other scheme I am aware of from the current owners is a hotel proposal. The city planners objected, as did English Heritage, because building on top of the existing structure was considered unsympathetic. I can only agree with that conclusion.
    Quite frankly there are many building owners in Liverpool neglecting fine building with no sensible plans of their own. In these circumstances I am all for the heavy hand of a Compulsory Purchase Notice if it brings positive action. Given the vibrancy of this area I cannot believe there is not a suitable alternative use for this fine building and maybe this is another case of obstructive owners ( St Andrews Church in Rodney St, The Hotel building at the corner of Nelson St/Duke Street and numerous buidings in the Ropewalks Area provide other examples)

    Munchkim

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    Junior Member Harry's Avatar
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    The only decent part of this building is the frontage.
    The new, modern hotel plan is fine.
    This city has got to move on and stop living in a heritage dreamworld.
    Glass and steel is just as attractive as stone.
    I thought this was an urban development site but its become nothing more than a live-in-the-past fest for bozos who think that everything old is better.
    RUBBISH!

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    Who said it's an urban development site?

    There's plenty of derelict places to bring up to scratch with glass and steel - just leave the stone buildings alone which were built when they knew how to build.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Council reject ‘Rubik cube’ hotel plan
    May 22 2007
    by Larry Neild, Liverpool Daily Post

    MULTI-MILLION pound plans to convert the former Irish Centre into a luxury hotel have been rejected by the city council.

    The council’s planning committee backed a recommendation of their own planning manager Nigel Lee and refused consent for the scheme.

    Committee chairman Cllr Dave Irvine admitted the building, known as the Wellington Rooms, is in a bad state of repair, but he said the proposed scheme reminded him of Lego bricks or a Rubik cube.

    “I don’t like it one bit,” he said. The committee voted 6-3 to reject the plan.

    Developers New Dimensions Properties said later they will appeal against the decision to Communities and Local Government Secretary Ruth Kelly. That will lead to a planning inquiry to decide the future of the Grade 2 star-rated Wellington Rooms in Mount Pleasant.

    Story continues...

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    Well I rest my case. Its seems there is overwhelming opposition to this scheme and the only arguement advanced by the developers is that in the interests of restoring this listed building we must accept a carbuncle attached to it.

    Munchkim

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    This is the urban development forum part of the site, not the old warehouse and good old days stories forum.

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    Sad state of repair the building is in right now.







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    God I remember visiting there many years ago. Is it still open as a centre?

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    DaisyChains
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    God I remember visiting there many years ago. Is it still open as a centre?
    Hi Gerry
    I think it has been closed for a few years now.

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    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    I'm coming over on Tuesday so I'll be wandering around all the old places I can vaguely remember.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    I'm coming over on Tuesday so I'll be wandering around all the old places I can vaguely remember.
    Be sure to take some pics! And let us all have a sneaky peek!

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    Oh My camera will be clicking all week. I'm going to bring an extra memory card just in case.

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