One Knowsley acquires Court Hey Courtyard in Huyton

(L-R) - Louise Gillespie (trustee, One Knowsley), David Parr (trustee, One Knowsley, Dave Neilson (trustee, One Knowsley), Chris Lawrenson (chair, One Knowsley), Rachael Jones (CEO, One Knowsley), Councillor Shelley Powell (cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, Knowsley Council) and Councillor Graham Morgan, leader of the council, Knowsley Council)

ONE Knowsley has acquired the Courtyard and surrounding buildings at Court Hey Park in Huyton, with plans to transform the site into its new headquarters and a community hub.

Acquired in an asset transfer from Knowsley Council with support from Livv Investment, One Knowsley and its key stakeholders will be leading significant investment into the refurbishment of the two buildings to drastically contribute to the ambition within the borough to improve its green credentials.

As well as One Knowsley’s new headquarters, the buildings and grounds, which equate to a total space of 513.58 sq m, will be used for activity to support, develop and deliver the activities of the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise Sector within the borough creating a resource for local residents and the wider population.

Working with strategic partners, Knowsley Council and One Knowsley will lead a renaissance of the site in partnership with local groups and business community offering space for activities, meetings, workshops as well as welcoming the 20,000 visitors to the annual Knowsley Flower Show in 2022.

Racheal Jones, chief executive, One Knowsley, said: “After a period of growth for One Knowsley and building on the impact of our work and role within the borough, Court Hey Courtyard offers a fantastic opportunity to not only meet the growing needs of our workforce but to meet the needs of the wider sector we support and act as the trusted voice for. 

“Our vision is to create a vibrant new hub for community events and social activities, and a place for the people of Knowsley to be proud of. We are committed to developing a plan for the site over the coming months, one that includes our stakeholders and the local community who it will serve. It is incredibly important that they are involved in the process.

“I’d like to thank Knowsley Council and Livv Investment for their support with the asset transfer and I am looking forward to working closely with our stakeholders to fulfill our ambitions for an exemplar in green recovery from the Covid pandemic.”

One Knowsley plans the site to be an exemplar for green recovery. Court Hey Park will boast a new heating system and LED lighting set throughout, along with solar panels fitted to the roof. One Knowsley’s investment in reducing its carbon footprint will reduce the annual energy consumption of its buildings by approximately 180,000 Kwh per annum.

One Knowsley are also keen to protect the history of the Court Hey Park site and its biodiversity, which can be traced back to the late 1780’s. The charity will be making several nods to the site’s past, including its life as the National Wildflower Centre, working with Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Knowsley Council to explore the rich heritage and create a lasting legacy for the local community.