Historic building on the Wirral enjoys restoration
A former church dating back to the Victorian era has been restored to peak condition, thanks to extensive renovation work on the stone exterior that cost £230,000 to complete.
The Oxton Gateway Hub is located in Birkenhead and serves as a local community centre, having previously been the Oxton Congregational Church.
It holds grade II-listed status, and money for the work came from a variety of sources – including a Heritage Lottery Fund donation of £180,000, a £40,000 sum provided by the National Churches Trust, and a similar amount from The Veolia Environmental Trust’s Landfill Communities Fund.
The Wirral Christian Centre, which has managed the building since 2008, was also able to provide some of the funding towards it from its own reserves. The renovations were considered crucial, as some locals believe the building plays a vital role in the community.
It is utilised as a venue for numerous community activities and groups, some of which are aimed at mums, toddlers, children and teenagers, with activities like drama, school prize ceremonies, conferences, and music concerts amongst those that take place there.
Construction work on buildings that are important to communities generally requires the help of businesses that grasp this significance, and there are established firms that provide everything from turfing services to the hire of a specialist vehicle like a mini digger on the Wirral.
Rev. Paul Epton stated:
“In an area such as ours, restoring an iconic building has had a transforming effect on the locality.
“Thanks to the generosity of funders including the Veolia Environmental Trust and the HLF, a previous symbol of despair and deprivation has become a symbol of hope and new life.”
Alongside the renovation work undertaken on the stone exterior of the building, repairs were also made to the edges of the roof, the drainpipes and guttering.