Partnership will see Liverpool Council’s housing company and Blackburne House, a training and support organisation for women, take the ground floor space of 68 Falkner Street. Tony McDonough reports
A £1m residential and educational project will be created in Liverpool city centre after the council’s housing company Foundations agreed a deal with Blackburne House.
The partnership will see Foundations and Blackburne House, a training and support organisation for women, take the ground floor space of 68 Falkner Street to create a joint education and residential scheme.
Liverpool City Council will invest £1m towards the cost of ground floor fit-out and on completion both parties will acquire the space via long leases from the authority.
Subject to agreement by Liverpool City Council’s cabinet on June 21 and Foundations’ board approval, Foundations will take half of the ground floor unit in the building to create six apartments for rent, comprising of four, one-bedroom apartments and two, two bedrooms apartments.
The remaining space will be taken by Blackburne House to provide digital and entrepreneurship programmes to expand their portfolio in the digital sector, focusing on Tech for Good.
This will create opportunities for women to access careers in the digital sector, together with a wide range of support to strengthen entrepreneurs whilst promoting ‘digital wellness’.
Launched last year by the city council, Foundations aims to build 10,000 new homes across Liverpool over the next few years and, earlier this week, unveiled its first ‘rent-to-buy’ scheme.
Blackburne House, formerly known as the Women’s Technology and Education Centre (WTEC) was established in 1983 with the aim of progressing women from disadvantaged backgrounds into employment within technical professions.
Foundations chief executive Mark Kitts said: “We’re very excited to be announcing these plans to partner with Blackburne House, which is one of the country’s leading education and training centres for women.
“As an ethical housing provider, we feel strongly that our own values align perfectly with the ambitions of Blackburne House and our vision is to work together on this project to ensure that some of the most underserved communities in our city are provided with the opportunities to succeed.”
Blackburne House chief executive Claire Dove said the deal with Foundations could lead to other similar initiatives elsewhere in the city. She added: “Central government recently announced that local authorities should respond to the housing needs of vulnerable women/
“This is exactly what it is needed – the opportunity of affordable housing coupled with quality education and career development specific to our city’s needs.”