By Ade Blackburn
Wirral’s Birkenhead has a fantastic range of things to do and places to discover, including innovative venues such as Future Yard and Make Hamilton Square, plus the excellent Williamson Gallery and Museum.
1. Future Yard
Future Yard brings some of today’s most exciting new national and international artists to Wirral, whilst providing performance opportunities and training for emerging local musicians.
The venue is run on a non-profit basis and is committed to a goal of becoming the first carbon-neutral grassroots music venue in the North of England.
Future Yard CIC have also recently set up Future50, a scheme where organisations can pledge to support their Neighbourhood Fund. The scheme will fund free and subsidised training and events for local people.
Upcoming live shows include, Badly Drawn Boy, Steve Mason and legendary Liverpool band The Stairs.
Future Yard: 75 Argyle Street, Birkenhead, CH41 6AB.
2. Make Hamilton Square
In 2019 Make CIC worked with Wirral Council to open a community creative hub in Birkenhead, Make Hamilton Square.
The vibrant urban growing space, services an in-house cafe with seasonal produce and honey from their busy bees. The space is also home to fifty businesses and makers, alongside an incredible programme of workshops and activities.
Make continues to support many creatives to run classes and start businesses. They provide space for people to affordably host shows and exhibitions, often for the first time.
Make Hamilton Square: 2 Cleveland Street, Birkenhead, CH41 6ND.
3. Williamson Art Gallery & Museum
One of Wirral’s hidden gems, Williamson Art Gallery & Museum is just minutes from the heart of Birkenhead.
Their wide-ranging permanent collections include painting, sculpture, furniture, prints and decorative arts. They are also home to the largest public collection of Della Robbia pottery in the UK – Birkenhead’s contribution to the Arts & Crafts movement.
Meanwhile, their superb ship models celebrate the region’s fascinating maritime history. They also host a range of temporary exhibitions and events.
Williamson Art Gallery: Slatey Rd, Oxton, Birkenhead, Prenton, CH43 4UE.
Ten years ago, a disabled theatre company was set up with a focus to enable, enhance and engage disabled artists across Wirral, through weekly sessions.
In their 10th year, RAWD has got a little bigger, with more members and a wider outreach. They continue to champion disabled artists and put them centre stage in theatres and festivals.
RAWD explore new and innovative ways to turn-up disabled voices in the arts as a whole; with fun and inclusivity at its heart.
RAWD: Tranmere Methodist Church, 4 Whitfield St, Birkenhead CH42 0LF.
5. Birkenhead Priory
Birkenhead Priory is a unique family outing – experience the history, wonder and beauty of this 850 year old site. As the oldest standing building on Merseyside, the Priory offers a unique insight into the town of Birkenhead, and its historical and spiritual importance in the North West.
Now surrounded by factory units and shipyards, the Priory is an oasis of calm in a busy world. Head along and explore the site with the whole family. Climb the 101 steps to the top of St Mary’s tower for spectacular views of the Mersey and local area.
You can even bring a picnic to enjoy in their grounds!
Birkenhead Priory: Priory St, Birkenhead, CH41 5JH.
6. The Hive/Wirral Youth Zone
Wirral Youth Zone, named by young people as ‘The Hive’, is a purpose-built facility for young people aged 8 – 19, and up to 25 for those with disabilities.
Young people have access to fantastic facilities for a cost of £5 for an annual membership and 50p per visit. The facilities include a climbing wall, boxing gym, music suite, art room and sensory room.
The Youth Zone provides a safe environment where young people can come and enjoy themselves and enables them to raise their aspirations and confidence.
The Hive: Bright St, Birkenhead CH41 4EA.
7. Wirral Transport Museum and Heritage Tramway
Wirral Transport Museum & Heritage Tramway is a working museum and heritage tramway preserving buses, trams and other local transport vehicles
Back when Birkenhead was a pioneering industrial town it was the first place in Europe to adopt a street tramway. The trams ceased operating in 1937, but visitors can ride on original fully restored heritage trams, see their collection of preserved local buses and view their ongoing restoration projects in the museum.
They also have a huge working model railway, ideal for keeping the whole family entertained!
Wirral Transport Museum and Heritage Tramway: 1 Taylor Street, Birkenhead, CH41 1BG.
8. Convenience Gallery
Convenience Gallery is a community-centered arts organisation providing opportunities for local communities to engage, create and work in the arts. They take art out into public spaces and mental health settings, rather than traditional environments, working with local people.
The gallery are advocates for artists fair pay, mental health, wellbeing and inclusion. They are dedicated to championing the arts and artists.
They always aim to create high quality, diverse, educational and challenging programming.
Convenience Gallery: 3 Abbey Close, Birkenhead, CH41 5FQ.
9. Birkenhead Park
On Easter Monday 1847, the gates were opened to the very first publicly funded park in the world. Designed by Joseph Paxton – Birkenhead Park was created to be the People’s Garden – a place where the lowliest peasant to the British Monarch could enjoy a piece of the countryside in the city.
In 1850, Fredrick Law Olmstead visited the park and with its inspiration, then went on to design and create what is arguably the most famous public park in the world – Central Park, New York.
In 2004 Birkenhead Park underwent an £11.8million restoration returning it to its former glory. Today, Birkenhead Park is a Grade I listed landscape, it caters for all visitors with a number of sports such as football, cricket, bowls, angling and cycling, as well as providing an onsite visitors centre.
Birkenhead Park: Park Drive, Birkenhead, CH41 4HY.
10. Bloom Building
Bloom is a great space to for all types of creative events. They have previously opened their doors to festivals, electronic nights, film screenings, book launches and immersive exhibitions.
They hold a range of monthly events at Bloom such as Open Mic nights, Life Drawing, Open Mic poetry nights and a weekly choir. Bloom also hold coffee mornings with Mencap and Positivitree weekly.
The venue is available to hire for community projects and private bookings.
Bloom Building: 3 Abbey Close, Birkenhead, CH41 5FQ.
11. Birkenhead Youth Club
The Birkenhead Youth Club started life as The Birkenhead Boys Club in 1932, the prime mover in its establishment being the late Harry France, a Senior Probation Officer, in the town.
The club is for anyone aged between 8 and 24. They have an extensive range of sports facilities, from an indoor 5-a-side pitch to squash courts and trampolining. Admission is just 50p per night.
The facilities are also available for hire at very reasonable rates.Opening times are 6-9pm, Monday to Friday.
Birkenhead Youth Club: 8 Watson St, Birkenhead, CH41 3PY.
12. Wirral MakeFest
Wirral MakeFest is a free community event that aims to cultivate the public’s engagement with makers, inspiring future careers, hobbies and skills in the community and raising the visibility of local makers through the event and its accompanying website.
The event takes place 3 June 2023 at both Birkenhead Central Library and Williamson Museum and Art Gallery.
MakeFest is a fusion between art, science and technology. Their makers are from a wide range of arts and sciences, from crafts and drama to VR.
Open Call: Paid Artist Commissions Right To Succeed Birkenhead Event