New education hub in Croxteth gets go-ahead

Monday 28 Nov 2016

Plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment of Myerscough College’s facilities at Croxteth Park in Liverpool have been given the green light.

The proposals, which have now been approved by Liverpool City Council, will see the former Glendale council depot on the site is transferred to the College on a lease basis and redeveloped as new, expanded teaching facilities to replace the current outdated and inflexible accommodation.

The city council is to contribute £500,000 to the scheme by way of a discounted rent on the site over the next 10 years, in addition to £1 million from the College and £2 million from the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for education, employment and skills, Councillor Nick Small, said: “The College does fantastic work but is working out of accommodation that is no longer suitable for modern teaching methods.

“It will enhance and improve their work and mean that students interested in studying for the qualifications that they offer can do so in the best quality surroundings.

“As well as delivering good quality education and training, it will also boost the local economy as local workers and apprentices will be employed during the construction phase.”

When complete, the new-look Myerscough College Croxteth Centre – which was given planning permission in October 2016 – will be made up of single-storey buildings sited behind a wall opposite the Home Farm area of the site.

The new training facilities will include three animal studies blocks along with stabling, aviaries and pens for goats, alpacas and hens adjacent to the Grade II listed former Laundry House.

Two other buildings would be converted for animal housing and dog grooming, and a third will be for reptiles, amphibians and tropical species as well as accommodation for staff and students.

Helen Eaton, Myerscough’s Assistant Principal for Liverpool said: “Myerscough Liverpool was first established in 1999 in partnership with the city council and over time we have developed to provide a range of courses at Croxteth Park.

“We’ve worked closely with Glendale for a number of years and have been their sole training provider for almost a decade and so taking control of their depot is the next logical step of what will hopefully further enhance our education offer to the students of Merseyside.

“We carried out a review of our facilities at Croxteth Park before submitting our plans and developing this area of the park is the most viable and cost effective. We can’t wait for work to begin.”

Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, added: “This scheme complements our wider plans for Croxteth Park.

“The new arrangements with Myerscough will increase our income and free up space in Croxteth Hall and Farm.

“The previous transfer of the Farm to NSC, a local social enterprise, has bought new investment in the farm, increased visitor numbers, local jobs and saved the Council around £250,000 a year.

“We will shortly be seeking a partner to run the Hall and Park so that they become self-sustaining.”

Ann O’Byrne, deputy mayor of Liverpool, said: “This is a win-win situation for everyone. Myerscough gets better facilities, students get improved learning, but also a future income stream comes to the city council, to help improve the parks.”

And Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It really is about time these buildings were brought up to date.

“This report talks about access for people with special needs and disabilities that isn’t catered for in the existing structure.’’

Myerscough Liverpool was first established to support the delivery of the college’s Merseyside work based learning contract at Croxteth Hall. Over time the facility has developed to support the delivery of full time, part time and short courses in both land-based and sports subjects including Animal Care, Arboriculture, Equine and Horticulture.

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by Dave Salmon

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