Founded in Liverpool in 2012, Make CIC provides space for ‘makers’ and artists and has now acquired an office building in Birkenhead as its new home, backed by the £25m Town Deal fund. Tony McDonough reports
Make CIC, which provides studio space for ‘makers’ and artists, has acquired a former office building in Birkenhead backed by Wirral’s £25m Town Deal fund.
In summer 2024 it will open Make Hamilton 2.0 in the former Riverside Housing HQ in Argyle Street which comprises more than 14,000 sq ft of space.
This will be the heart of what is being called the Argyle Street Creative Hub, a renaissance of the creative industries in Birkenhead.
Its stated mission is to empower individuals to “turn their passions into prosperity” through studio space, workshops, exhibitions, and support. Make CIC will relocate from its current home in nearby Hamilton Square.
Make Hamilton 2.0 will offer creative, cultural and community space, and better facilities for tenants. It will also feature a café, a roof garden (in the build’s second phase) and the bees, honey and hops that visitors will be familiar with from Make’s current home.
Alongside the building, Make is also purchasing a near-by car park on Lorn Street, which will become the new home of its community garden.
Founded in Liverpool’s northern docklands in 2012 by Kirsten Little and Liam Kelly, Make CIC is a social enterprise which also operates a facility in Huyton Village. Its current three sites are home to almost 150 tenants.
Chief executive Liam Kelly said: “Make is excited to share the news that we’ve been able to purchase this building for the creative community of Wirral.
“We will move our current hive of activity down the road to bring Argyle Street to life, alongside our new neighbours Future Yard. These are really exciting times for Wirral and Birkenhead, and we look forward to inviting you all in when we open later this year.”
Once Argyle Street has been refurbished, local charity Open Door will take over the Treasury Building in Hamilton Square, transforming it into its new home, called the Joy Centre.
Operations director Kirsten Little, added: “After four years of dedication and perseverance, the realisation of permanence in Birkenhead marks a significant milestone for Make.
“Stemming from the triumph of Wirral Borough of Culture and the unwavering support of Wirral Council, we’ve achieved a remarkable feat as an art organisation – the acquisition of our own building.
“Often artists are faced with a very different picture, one where temporary or meanwhile spaces means being moved on from the very environments we’ve added colour to. To be able to put down permanent roots is a massive stride for an organisation like our own.”