Former candle factory lights the way for new tenants in £2.4m scheme
An historic industrial building, once home to the Price’s Candle Factory in Bromborough, Wirral, has been transformed into high-quality new homes, many of which have been specially designed to enable young people with disabilities to live independently.
Developed by local housing association, Wirral Methodist, the £2.4m scheme has created 22 affordable apartments at the Grade II-listed building, which was once the centrepiece of a 29-acre factory complex with more than 150 years of employment history.
The development provides 16 apartments tailored to the needs of people with disabilities to support and enable independent living, together with six affordable homes.
It has been restored to retain the existing building’s key architectural features from the 1850s to 1950s, without losing its industrial character.
In developing the scheme, Wirral Methodist worked with the PALS Group, a group of parents of the 16 young adults that would be moving into the homes, to ensure that they had all the support they need to make the big transition from living at home to moving into their own independent accommodation.
Paul Carhart, chief executive of Wirral Methodist Housing Association, said: “We were delighted to be able to use our experience in providing new homes for people with disabilities, together with our expertise in working with listed buildings, to transform this unique site into a vibrant new development while preserving its history and heritage.
“Working in partnership with the PALS group and other specialist providers has been vital to ensuring that the design of the apartments and the support provided would best enable the young people moving into these homes to make the transition to independent living.
“The response we had really demonstrates the demand for affordable homes locally, with over 100 bids received for the six general needs apartments alone.”
The scheme, which was delivered in partnership with architect Ainsley Gommon and constructed by Plant Building Contractors, received a £660,000 Homes England grant to bring it to fruition.