Watch Factory developments get under way

CONSTRUCTION work has begun at the 6.5 acre Watch Factory site at Prescott on Merseyside to create 56 apartments and 16 bungalows.

The development forms the first phase of an extra care accommodation development for Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT) and Liverpool-based developer Iliad Group.

Formroom Architects has designed the masterplan for the site which involves development over two phases.
 
The first phase, which is due to complete in spring 2016, includes the conversion of the existing Grade II listed building together with a new build extension.

A new section of the development will create two wings connected to the listed building with a glazed link sensitively marking the line between old and new.

Together with the bungalows the scheme will provide accommodation to help people live independently, with varying levels of care and support on site.

Formroom Architects director Tim Groom said: “It has been wonderful to work with such a fantastic building.
 
“The factory has a striking modernist partly glazed facade which we are completely overhauling.

“The new build extension will frame a central courtyard with the bungalows enclosing the eastern boundary of the site providing access to the courtyard and facilities within the main building.
 
“This layered approach allows permeability through the site between accommodation types and allows for social interaction through both the built facilities and landscaped areas.”

Iliad’s David Anastasiou said: “Iliad are pleased to be delivering another high quality regeneration project which brings a historic building back to life and creates a whole new community for Prescot.”

The second phase of the development at the site will create a further 62 new homes, which will be for outright sale.

Outlining planning has already been granted for this phase and development will be progressed upon completion of phase one.

The watch making factory, originally the headquarters of the Lancashire Watch Company, was built in 1889 and closed in 1910.

In World War II it housed Pals Barracks and later Tinlings Printers. In more recent times it has been used for offices and small business uses.

Close