Work begins to bring derelict 'hidden gem' back to life

Work is carried out at site of the former Margaret Beavan School in West Derby
Work is carried out at site of the former Margaret Beavan School in West Derby -Credit:Liverpool Echo

Work to convert a derelict Liverpool school into flats and houses has begun.

The Grade II listed former Margaret Beavan School on Almonds Green in West Derby closed for good in 2004. It has fallen into disrepair in the years since and was badly damaged by a fire in 2022, which left it largely roofless.

Last year, plans were approved by Liverpool City Council to convert the historic site into a series of new flats and houses. The project will include 11 apartments in the school building, the adjacent coach house will be extended and amended to become three dwellings and the remaining derelict science block on the site will be demolished to become 18 further properties.

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Work has begun on the site, with photographs taken by the ECHO showing teams on site. According to the West Derby Society, an unlisted 1960s block has been demolished, vegetation has been cleared and damaged parts of the main building have been removed in preparation for conversion.

Stephen Guy, West Derby Society chairman, said: “We are delighted work has begun on restoring our much-loved building.

“We are particularly pleased that the beautiful main façade can be seen from the main road. Even in the 1960s, when I was passing on the 61 bus on the way to school, the building was hidden behind tangled, unmanaged trees.

“This is a true hidden gem of West Derby, about to be revealed in its refurbished glory.”

The school was named after Margaret Beavan, who became the first female Lord Mayor of Liverpool in 1927. She also stood to be a Member of Parliament in the general election two years later.

The 19th century site has fallen into disrepair since Liverpool Council sanctioned that the building be closed 18 years ago. As a former special educational needs school, it was deemed surplus to requirements after pupils were integrated into mainstream education.

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