Artist's impression - Make Hamilton Square
This summer, social enterprise Make CIC is set to start work transforming a largely vacant building in Hamilton Square into a destination for the arts, culture and creative entrepreneurs.
To be named Make Hamilton Square, this creative hub will provide opportunities for the local community and visitors alike. People will be able to take part in a diverse offer including events, classes and opportunities to learn skills and crafts.
It will be a hive of activity which will also include a community garden and urban farm; in addition to a cafe, creative studios and meeting space offer.
The biggest transformation will take place outside, with the revival of the currently neglected “millennium garden” into a community garden space, just off Hamilton Square. Plans include a small urban farm with raised beds for growing vegetables; wellbeing space for sitting, reading, and meeting people; and an outdoor courtyard for the cafe in the day and events at night.
Later this month Make Hamilton Square will launch a £5,000 crowdfunding campaign for support with the initial set-up costs of reviving the garden. The campaign #MakeHamiltonGrow will seek support to build planters, seats and even beehives with the aim of creating an urban green oasis open to everyone. There will be opportunities for people to help by rolling up their sleeves, learning skills and getting involved over the summer.
Local organisations are working with Make Hamilton Square to ensure new opportunities around creative entrepreneurship, craft, making and STEM skills are accessible to local residents through educational workshops, hosted in the hub. This is paired with Wirral Council’s ambition for greater footfall through expanding the leisure and cultural offer in the area and the legacy of Wirral’s year as borough of culture.
A social impact forecast has been conducted on the project by First Ark which found that the project has the opportunity to create £1.6m of social impact for Wirral over the next five years. This focuses on creating opportunities and improving the wellbeing of those involved.
Make CIC co-founder and director, Kirsten Little, said: “there are so many good things happening in Birkenhead. We’re excited to start working with local partners to fit in and provide opportunities for the community that isn’t there yet.”
Make CIC co-founder and CEO, Liam Kelly, said: “Make CIC was started seven years ago in response to a period of challenging mental health for me as I found myself isolated working from home. We are now focused on removing barriers for people and sometimes that can be as simple as not spending all day in isolation, learning a craft or just meeting new people.”
Cllr Chris Spriggs, Wirral’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, added: “As part of the legacy of our year as Borough of Culture for Liverpool City Region, Make Hamilton Square will support creative people and businesses in Wirral in 2019 and beyond. It’s a promising venture which will encourage new and existing talent to flourish, increase local entrepreneurship and help creative and digital companies to grow, boosting our local economy.”
The UK Social Entrepreneur Index, sponsored by UBS, is a celebration of social entrepreneurship across the UK.
Open to social entrepreneurs tackling a social or environmental issue at any scale, entrants will act as beacons of inspiration for others to encompass positive social impact.
For more info visit www.socialentsindex.co.uk.
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