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07 May 2024

The Florrie: A vibrant new hub for Liverpool’s young people

The Florrie’s dedicated new youth hub opens its doors to young people in Liverpool

The Florrie is a stunning Grade II listed building in South Liverpool. It’s a social, cultural, and educational community hub, much-loved by the local community. It’s a space that brings people together, and its own radio station, Radio Florrie enhances its connection with everyone.

The Florrie dates back to the 1930s but had to close its doors in the 1980s when it fell into disrepair. It remained closed for 23 years, until the local community raised £7.5 million to restore it to its former glory. Today it is a place of community pride, loved and cherished by everyone.

The Florrie is a mixed-use community space for everyone, but there was no dedicated space for young people. Young people need a space they could call their own, a space they can shape and own. Young people needed the continuity of knowing the space would be there for them every week – somewhere they do not have to share with others.

The Florrie is a huge space, with a large empty basement. Flood damage meant that the basement was not fit for purpose. It was damp, dark, and uninviting, but had the potential to be a vibrant youth hub. Transforming the space into a youth hub would be a costly endeavour, so it remained a nine-year dream in the making. The Youth Investment Fund has now turned that dream into reality.

A place that young people can call their own

A Youth Investment Fund grant of £834,000.00 has transformed their fortune and is giving young people a place to call their own. As The Florrie’s CEO Anne Lundon says:

“Young people are our future, they are the custodians of our building, and it’s vital that they have somewhere they can own and feel proud of.”

Young people have taken ownership of the youth hub plans. They already had lots of outdoor spaces for sports, and an outdoor cinema, and had access to the centre’s fabulous gym. What they wanted most is a social place to relax and chill, a space just for them.

A vibrant youth hub

The new youth space is vibrant and bright. The refurbished basement windows and addition of glass panels means light shines through, transforming the space. The previous long corridor and one big space have been opened up and developed into two big recreational rooms, plus a small space that is now home to Radio Florrie – something that young people love. The space is accessible and includes a lift. It includes a brand-new kitchenette, which is vital for young people, especially so for young people affected by food hunger. The team makes sure everyone can access something hot to eat, and it’s done in an empowering way, so no young person ever feels stigmatised.

Alongside enjoying their new space, young people will benefit for a new digital hub, with access to play stations and other gaming activities. The radio station and recording space will give young people every opportunity to have fun, gain new skills and grow in confidence.

Empowering young people

The Florrie has an empowering approach, giving young people voice and a say in how things are done. The youth hub’s new Coordinator grew up with the Florrie. First as a young person joining the youth club, then as a volunteer, and now at just 19 years of age, being a paid member of the staff team. Young people really are the true custodian of the Florrie.

The Youth Investment Fund has given the Florrie’s young people a vibrant space to call their own. But its impact is far greater than just bricks and mortar, it’s about investing in young people’s lives, empowering them to have a say in their future and given them a new lease of life, and the opportunity to have fun, grow in confidence, develop new skills and take pride in their space. More than anything it’s giving young people a sense of belonging and continuity.

Anne Lundon
CEO for the Florrie

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