Liverpool’s Florence Institute has received a national accolade at the Historic England Angel Awards 2018.
The building, affectionately known as ‘The Florrie’, won in the Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place category during a ceremony last night (27 November).
The awards were hosted by historian Bettany Hughes at the Gillian Theatre in London, celebrating the efforts of individuals and local groups across the country that have donated their time and energy to bring irreplaceable historic places back to life.
The Florrie is the oldest surviving purpose-built boys’ club in Britain, and for a century it provided a safe recreation to boys from poor communities in South Liverpool.
Founded in 1889 by former Liverpool mayor Bernard Hall, it was named as a tribute to his daughter Florence who died at the age of 22.
Communities who used the facility later led the long campaign to not only restore the building but bring it back to life for local people.
The Dingle building, which had been damaged by fire and exposure to the elements, has been rescued and transformed into a modern, multi-purpose community hub for people of all ages.
Christine Leadbeater from Keymer, which sponsored the award category won by the Florrie, says: “It is an honour and a privilege to sponsor and present this year’s Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place Award to the Florence Institute, Liverpool.
“The Florence Institute is a fantastic restoration, which returns this magnificent building to its original splendour, and offers a place where the community can once again come together.”
The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation supports the awards, which were this year judged by Andrew Lloyd Webber; the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall; historians Bettany Hughes and Dr Suzannah Lipscombe; and Historic England’s chief executive, Duncan Wilson.