Multi-million pound Prescot housing scheme gets off ground

Manchester-based Harbur Construction has started work on a new multi-million pound extra care housing scheme in Prescot.

The 70-unit development will breathe new life into the former 6.75 acre site of the historic Lancashire Watch Company on Albany Road.

The Grade II listed factory building will be converted into 54 extra care apartments while an additional 16 extra care bungalows will be built on site, boosting the supply of much-needed assisted living accommodation in the area.

Harbur is building the properties on behalf of Liverpool-based developer Iliad Group for Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT) which will make the homes available for affordable rent and shared ownership.

Christian Bury, managing director at Harbur Construction, said:

“The one and two bedroom apartments will transform the historical site into a thriving community in an area where demand for this type of housing is high.

“The new homes are being built in keeping with the site’s rich heritage while providing modern living facilities to help elderly and disabled people live independently.”

KHT secured funding from the Department of Health for the scheme, which meets the government’s Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and is being built to Lifetime Homes standards.

Ian Thomson, executive director at KHT, said:

“Our new site at Albany Road is steeped with rich heritage and it’s a real achievement for our local communities that we can celebrate and retain the legacy of the Lancashire Watch Company whilst at the same time building much needed accessible homes for our older people who have extra care needs.”

Ryan Cullen, communications manager at Iliad Group, added:

“We are delighted to be working closely with Knowsley Housing Trust, Harbur Construction and Formroom on this interesting new scheme.

“Prescot Watch Factory is of great significance to the historic fabric of Knowsley, with this Grade II listed building playing a key role in the industrial growth of the region. To be instrumental in collaboratively bringing the building back to life is exciting.”

Manchester-based Formroom Architects has designed the scheme which is part of a two-phase masterplan that will revitalise the area. A further 62 residential properties will be built on site in the future.

Tim Groom, who is a director at Formroom Architects, 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.”

Based on Albany Road, the site was the former home of the Lancashire Watch Company which closed its doors in 1910.

The new development is expected to be completed April 2016.