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3 Spital Yard
Spitalfields, , E1 6AQ
United Kingdom

020 7925 0199

The AHF appreciates that neglected buildings which are all too familiar in our towns, cities and countryside can, with a little imagination and a lot of enthusiasm, be rescued to become assets for their communities by people wanting to make a difference. The AHF has helped hundreds of organisations throughout the UK to do exactly that.

Florence Institute, Liverpool

Case Studies

Florence Institute, Liverpool

Architectural Heritage Fund

AHF Support Summary

The AHF provided a working-capital loan for the duration of the restoration work, to ensure cashflow was maintained and prevent any stoppages to work.

New Use Summary

Open seven days a week, the building offers a wide variety of participatory activities for people of all ages, multi-purpose event spaces available for hire and fully inclusive workspaces for businesses.

What’s So Special About This Place?

Built in 1889, the Florrie was the first building in Britain to be specifically constructed as a boys’ youth club. It served the working and unemployed youth of the dockside area of The Dingle in Liverpool for almost 100 years until its closure.

Why did the AHF get involved?

The Trust identified a funding gap that could be overcome by a loan offer so that the restoration could commence on site.

Why Was The Building Under Threat?

Towards the end of 1980s funding for the Institute dried up and in 1987 the building was sold for development. It grew increasingly derelict over the following 20 years.

How Was It Saved?

In 2004 the plight of the Florrie was featured as part of the Liverpool Echo’s “Stop the Rot” campaign which raised the profile of the derelict building widely.  The Florence Institute Trust Ltd was formed by concerned members of the local community to find a new and sustainable use. It went on to raise over £6M funding for its comprehensive restoration.


The Florence Institute for Boys, 377 Mill Street, Liverpool, L8 4RB


The Florence Institute Trust

Find out more at


How Is The Building Used Now?

The Florrie once again serves the locality by providing new jobs and much needed community facilities. There is managed workspace for local entrepreneurs and businesses, flexible community space for events, conferences, exhibitions and youth activities and a multi-functional events hall that encompasses everything from knitting, to keep fit and parties.

How Did The AHF Help?

The Trust approached the AHF whilst there was still a shortfall with capital funding, so that a loan offer could allow work to begin without any delay. Subsequently the facility was used as working capital, to pay contractors inbetween payments from capital grant funders, avoiding costly delays.