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Beacon Project

Beacon Project
March 30, 2017 admin

All are encouraged to complete an online survey about this proposed new project in Hoylake:

Two members of Hoylake Vision Community Planning Forum Management Group as well as members of the wider forum also serve on the Beacon Steering Group in a voluntary capacity.

You may by now have heard that the Job Centre in Hoylake is earmarked for closure in 2018.

The Beacon Steering Group met with MP Margaret Greenwood and asked her to write to Department for Work and Pensions to about the Beacon project and to invite them to consider remaining in Hoylake, albeit within new, smaller, purpose-built space in the scheme.

Whatever the outcome of that conversation, the prospect of the Job Centre vacating the Old Town Hall itself seems to be highly likely. For the Beacon Project this opens up the exciting possibility that the upstairs main hall of the Old Town Hall can be used for the cinema.

Architects Falconer Chester Hall have been appointed to draw up revised plans and national consultancy firm Lichfields have been commissioned to research and present feasibility and benefits data. We will publish these when they are available.

In brief the scheme is likely to comprise:

  • The original Town Hall Entrance on Market Street will lead to a cinema box office, bistro, fine dining restaurant and stairs to a 200 seat single screen cinema on the upper floor. There will be disabled/lift access.
  • The original Fire Engine House entrance fascia in Albert Road will ideally be retained, forming the entrance to a spacious, glazed-roof atrium café/bar area which will serve all users of the scheme. This would incorporate small creative business retail units in the courtyard, and serve as a bar and live music/poetry/comedy entertainment space at night.
  • The original outrigger building to the rear, which boasts original Victorian skylights and roof ventilation, will be retained; on the ground floor housing kitchens for the restaurant and atrium café, and on the first floor providing a converted ‘loft’ commercial studio space.
  • The remainder of the land at the back will be used for independent creative businesses retail outlets/workshops and gallery space on a near-double height ground floor with mezzanine studio spaces and three floors of residential accommodation with between thirty to forty x 1-, 2- and 3-bed apartments above.
  • The whole scheme will have energy efficiency and superfast IT connectivity considered from the start.

The Beacon Group have already secured numerous expressions of interest from a cinema operator (Light Cinema), a fine dining restauranteur, creative businesses and artists, and a BAFTA award winning film production company.

A Coastal Communities Fund bid is being prepared and will be submitted later this year.

If the bid is successful, building will commence in Spring 2018. If it is not successful negotiations with interested developer partners will be pursued.

Please do remember that the Beacon Steering group are NOT developers, but are a group of local volunteers who have been pursuing the idea because they believe it would be great for Hoylake and have the professional skills and knowledge to help make it happen.

The group aims to ‘steer’ the project in a direction that will be good for Hoylake, as far as possible both before and after the build, and will continue to do that with your support and input.

The group have been meeting with council officers throughout the process; they are fully supportive of the scheme as it stands, as are your ward councillor Gerry Ellis and also MP Margaret Greenwood.