Florrie wins conservation award

Liverpool’s Florrie – the Florence Institute – has won a major conservation award.

It has been judged ‘winner’ of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) North West Award for Conservation. The award was presented at the IHBC’s North West Conference at the Liverpool Medical Institute, Mount Pleasant.

The Florence Institute is situated in the heart of Toxteth, Liverpool 8. For a decade it has been one of the most emblematic Buildings at Risk in the region and a cause célèbre of the Stop the Rot campaign.

Having been vacant for almost two decades, roofless since 1999 and threatened with demolition the building re-opened in April 2012 following a painstaking restoration. In keeping with its original function as a boys club, the ‘Florrie’ is now a multi-ethnic community centre for all ages and abilities. While retaining its original gymnasium, library and great hall, the building has been brought wonderfully up to date with its own Heritage Centre, café, children’s nursery and serviced office space.

Funding for the project followed a relentless campaign by the members of the local community who need to amass £6.5m in order to finance the building’s full repair and modernisation. The lion’s share came from a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £3.7M. Other match funding contributions were provided by the Tudor Trust, Liverpool City Council, ERDF and the Garfield Weston Foundation. The City Council’s contribution comprised £150,000 of grant provided through the Building at Risk Initiative in addition to the lease of Council land next to the Florrie for parking and access.

Phase I of the project was completed in December 2010 and involved works to clear away years of decay and debris, stabilise the structure and to provide it with a temporary roof supported by scaffolding. This allowed the structure to dry out properly with phase II beginning in January 2011 and completed in April 2012.

Architects – Purcell UK
Main Contractor – William Anelay Ltd