Make CIC kick-starts Birkenhead transformation

Makers and artists space provider Make CIC starts work on converting a former office building in Birkenhead into its new Wirral Home. Tony McDonough reports

Make CIC
Make CIC has teamed up with Kimpton to transform its new Birkenhead site


Make CIC has started work alongside construction partner Kimpton on the conversion of a former office building in Birkenhead into its new Wirral home.

In February LBN revealed that Make, which provides studio space for ‘makers’ and artists, had acquired the 14,000 sq ft former Riverside Housing HQ in Argyle Street, backed with funding from Wirral’s £25m Town Deal fund.

Founded in 2012 by Kirsten Little and Liam Kelly, Make CIC supports people to turn their “passion into prosperity” by providing studio space for people who might otherwise be working at home.

It runs a programme of workshops, public classes and courses, exhibitions and support, across sites in Birkenhead, Liverpool’s North Docks and Knowsley’s Huyton Village, which are collectively home to more than 147 residents.

This latest Birkenhead project will see the Argyle Street site  become a central venue for independent makers and small business owners. Phase one is scheduled to open later this summer.

It will be the heart of what is being called the Argyle Street Creative Hub, a renaissance of the creative industries in Birkenhead. Kimpton will deliver this project and its fit-out team has already started work.

It will involve a strip-out and the installation of new heating, electrics, plumbing, and builders work to completely refurbish the building to create a café, conference and workshop space as well as studios and artist space. 

There will be a focus on sustainability with materials and furniture donated by Kimpton’s partners and as much of the work carried out by local suppliers as possible.

Make CIC chief executive Liam Kelly said: “Make has taken on an ambitious project and needed to find a partner who understood the challenges but shared the same goals of sustainability and impact.

“Kimpton has supported Make with other bits in Liverpool and Knowsley, so it felt like a natural partnership to deliver the dream.

“We are looking to complete phase one with Kimpton this summer, which will see the ground floor cafe and education spaces open, with studios and art spaces on the first and second floor.


Make CIC
How the new Make CIC Birkenhead base will look
Make CIC
Kirsten Little and Liam Kelly outside Make CIC’s new Birkenhead home


“Then we will set about to raise more funds to complete the second phase. This includes the top floor studios, basement studios with making space, and the key areas of impact with an eco-education room and growing space on the roof.”

READ MORE: Decision ‘imminent’ on major Wirral homes project

This development is a key part of the wider regeneration efforts in Birkenhead, aiming to boost local culture and economy by fostering a thriving community of creatives and entrepreneurs.

Matt Breakwell from Kimpton added: “It’s fantastic to be working with a fellow Liverpool city region organisation that was set up to create a place where makers can come together, feel supported, and develop their small businesses as part of a community.”

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