Paul said: “We have worked hard to retain the building’s original features and character. It is such a stunning site and it’s great to be involved in bringing it back into use.
“We had been looking for a site in Liverpool for a while, and when the landlord (Hope Street Hotel founder and chief executive Dave Brewitt) contacted us we knew straight away it was the place for us.”
The site includes the front part of the building, but not the rotunda or its mural, which commemorates the Peoples’ March for Jobs in Liverpool and was painted in 1986 by the artist Michael Jones, son of the Garston-born trade unionist Jack Jones.
The Liverpool School for the Blind was founded in 1791 by Edward Rushton as the first school of its kind in Britain on London Road. It was moved stone by stone to Hardman Street in 1851. Part of it was demolished and replaced by the 1930s extension. A century or so later, in 1958 the Blind School moved to Church Road in Wavertree where it still remains today.
The building was sold to Liverpool Corporation and served as the Merseyside Police headquarters until 1982, when it became a trade union, training and building, run as the Merseyside Trade Union, Community and Unemployed Resource Centre.