Council offers fresh hope for Wellington Rooms

A new survey is to be carried out on the Grade II-listed Wellington Rooms in Mount Pleasant in Liverpool raising hopes the 200-year-old building can be saved. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool Irish Centre
Former Liverpool Irish Centre (the Wellington Rooms) in Mount Pleasant. Picture by Tony McDonough


Liverpool City Council is to bring in a consultancy firm to carry out a condition survey on the Grade II-listed Wellington Rooms that has been left to rot since 1997.

Located on the corner of Mount Pleasant and Great Orford Street, the Wellington Rooms were built in the early 1800s. It was used as the Liverpool Irish Centre between 1965 and 1997. But it has been empty ever since.

In 1999 National Heritage placed the building on its At Risk register in 1999. But it wasn’t until 2018 that the city council and Historic England embarked on a programme of urgent repairs to save the neo-classic building from ruin.

Originally the Wellington Rooms was used for high society dances and balls, as well as private functions such as weddings. During World War II the building suffered extensive bomb damage.

Various plans have been proposed for the building since the Irish Centre closed but none have come to fruition. Plans were approved in 2002 for it to be turned into a function suite.

Two proposals to turn the site into a hotel were submitted in 2006 and 2007. However, city planners rejected both applications because of the impact of a three-storey extension.

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In 2016 it was announced the University of Liverpool had begun working with Merseyside Building Preservation Trust and the city council on a feasibility study.

This would have seen the Wellington Rooms brought back into use as an innovation hub to give students enterprise and entrepreneurship training, and provide office space to help new businesses develop. Again, the plan came to nothing.

Now LBN understands the city council is about to sign an agreement with a specialist consultancy which will undertake a detailed condition survey on the building. It is hoped this will lead to a firm plan to restore it to its former glory.

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