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Architects plan for new Wirral Youth Zone

28th January 2015 by OnSide

Wirral’s young people are one step closer to having the new state-of-the-art youth facility, The Hive, with the unveiling of new designs for the Youth Zone today.


The concept images follow the recent appointment of Seven Architecture, who have been instructed to design the £6million facility, by a panel of judges consisting of local young people and representatives of the Youth Zone Board including; Wirral Council, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and OnSide.

Expected to open at the end of 2016, the Youth Zone will offer a wide range of activities for young people aged between eight and 19 (25 for those with a disability), including; dance, sport, fitness, music and media. The Hive will cost young people just 50p per visit.

The Hive, which will be built on Exmouth St, adjacent to the new Fire Station, in the centre of Birkenhead, will be a place where young people can reach their full potential, grow their dreams and achieve their goals. It will be a safe and supportive community for young people to belong and be themselves.

Five architects practices were involved in the selection process, with Seven Architecture being awarded the contract after delivering a fantastic proposal that responded well to the brief of designing a world class youth facility, which will encourage the participation from young people, as well providing delivery space for a ‘Hive’ of activity for the young people.

The building will stand at approximately 2,700 square metres gross internal area, with external space for a multi-use games areas and a skate park.

John Ireland, one of the young people on the panel involved in the appointment of Seven Architecture said: “Being a part of the process shows how dedicated everyone is in making sure young people are involved in the development of their Youth Zone. The more young people that are involved, the better the facilities will be.”

He continued: “Seven Architecture showed us all that they had a clear understanding of what the site will look like, taking into consideration key elements such as child safety and accessibility, which are crucial elements to the design. It was great to see young people at the forefront of the process and I can’t wait for this fantastic facility to open!”

John Syvret CBE, Chief Executive of Cammell Laird Group Ltd and Wirral Youth Zone Chair, commented: “The Hive is for the young people of Wirral, so it is extremely important that the architect’s design reflect this. We’re delighted with Seven Architecture’s proposal, their designs are incredibly inspiring and I am sure this will develop into a fantastic facility for the young people of Birkenhead.”

Cllr Tony Smith, Wirral’s Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services, said: “Events were held last year to tell local people about the progress of the Youth Zone, which will help support and develop young people in Wirral by providing access to a wide range of programmes and services.

“It’s fantastic to see this exciting development really starting to take shape now and we are keen to continue engaging young people in Wirral in this project every step of the way.”

OnSide employs a design competition approach to ensure that its facilities benefit from the most up-to-date design styles whilst also giving local companies an opportunity to contribute to a life-changing project in their local area.

The next step of the project be the submission of a planning application in March 2015.

Seven Architecture have offices in Manchester, Harrogate, Colwyn Bay and London.