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Wellington Rooms, Liverpool

Architectural drawing, Wellington Rooms, Liverpool

Wellington Rooms
Architectural drawing

Liverpool City Council wishes to try and identify a viable scheme to restore and bring back into use the Grade II* listed Wellington Rooms, a Georgian Assembly Rooms and Ballroom. The building is on English Heritage's national Buildings at Risk Register, and is a key public landmark identified by Liverpool City Council in its 'Stop-the-Rot' campaign. Heritage Works has undertaken two feasibility studies/options appraisals, which have provided the Council with information to assist in taking statutory action.

Wellington Rooms, Liverpool

Wellington Rooms

The Wellington Rooms is a neo-classical building designed by Edmund Aikin and located within an important Georgian conservation area and cultural quarter of the city. Built between 1815-1816 as a subscription assembly room for the Wellington Club, the venue provided a worthy setting for the dance-loving Liverpool merchant princes, their friends and families for dance balls and parties. With its gracious architecture and interior design, the building quickly became the centre of fashionable Liverpool life. The Wellington Club was wound up in 1923 but the Rooms continued to function as a social club and place of entertainment throughout the 20th Century, being known in succession as the Embassy Rooms, Rodney Rooms and Rodney Youth Centre. Even in its later life as the Irish Centre, dance featured prominently in the use of the building.

Interior, Wellington Rooms, Liverpool

Interior, Wellington Rooms

The Irish Centre closed in the late 1990s and the lease of the building passed to a property developer who wanted to convert and extend the building to create a hotel. The project was refused planning permission, however, as it was felt that the conversion would not preserve the integrity of the building. The residual portion of the developer's lease passed to the Crown in early 2011. Liverpool City Council, which owns the freehold of the site and also has statutory responsibilities for the listed building, has served a number of notices on the leaseholder, in order to try and arrest the serious outbreak of dry rot. Temporary eradication measures and emergency roof repairs have been carried out, but the fine interiors with ornamental plasterwork continue to be at risk. The cause of the Wellington Rooms has also been taken up by Liverpool Echo's "Stop the Rot" campaign and is a national priority for The Georgian Group.

Heritage Works has undertaken two feasibility/options appraisal studies for the Wellington Rooms, which have explored new uses that can be contained within the existing building and with minimum intervention into the historic fabric. The first explored the viability of Dance Liverpool's dance centre proposal. The second considered office, function room, restaurant and University uses.

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