Liverpool Council Houses Nominated Turner Prize

A cluster of terraced dwellings in a historically run-down district of Liverpool has been shortlisted for the Turner Prize.

A section of Toxteth has been rehabilitated by the Granby Four Streets project, which has preserved homes that had been neglected or were slated for demolition following the riots of 1981.

Local people fought for 20 years to keep their homes, and they finally won.

Residents continually resisted plans for demolition and tried to rescue the 10 decrepit terraced houses on Cairns St in Toxteth.

A decade of hard work has resulted in the beautification of nearby streets, the repainting of derelict buildings, the establishment of a vibrant monthly market, and the creation a Community Land Trust (CLT).

Ownership of the ten properties has been transferred from Liverpool City Council, through the council’s Homes for £1 scheme, to Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust, whose aim is to reverse the long-term dereliction of Victorian terraced houses and the associated degeneration of communities in Toxteth.

Assemble, a London-based group of architects, designers and artists, have worked with them to convert their resourceful and DIY approach into the rehabilitation of property, enabling the CLT create affordable accommodation for local inhabitants that remains in community ownership.

The judges of the Turner Prize, which honours a British artist under 50 for an extraordinary exhibition or other presentation of their work in the prior year, were particularly impressed with Assemble’s commitment to sustainable growth.

The dwellings use simple and low cost materials and incorporate a number of quirky, handmade architectural details that help re-establish the spirit of the residences following their long neglect.

The fit-out works for the residences is being performed with COSPA and Ambition and offer training opportunities for local young people.

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Local professional tradesmen offer their time and expertise to serve as role models for the young people involved in the programme, which includes them in their pursuit of a City & Guilds certificate.

Beyond the scope of the project, participants in the programme will have the opportunity to continue their education by participating in internships and apprenticeships with local businesses.

Helen Marshall, chief executive of Ambition, said: “Strengthening communities and developing young people’s skills is at the heart of this project, which seeks to find an innovative solution to the prevalence of empty homes – more than 114,00 – and high youth unemployment in the North West.”

The training effort is being largely financed by the Department of Communities and Local Government, under the Empty Properties Community Grants Programme, with additional assistance from the Nationwide Foundation.

The Turner Prize winner will be revealed on December 7th, 2015.

Last Updated on December 29, 2021

Indra-Gupta

Author: Indra Gupta

Indra is an in-house writer with a love of Newcastle United and all things sustainable.

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