Hugh Baird College and Mersey Care begin work on St Winefride's Campus

Hugh Baird College and Mersey Care will today begin work on transforming the former St Winefride’s Roman Catholic Church in Bootle with construction contractor Crossfield Construction into a state of the art health, social care and mental health training facility and Life Rooms.

Funded by a £3.9 million Local Growth Fund grant provided by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through its Single Investment Fund, the ground breaking ceremony at the new St Winefride’s Campus will be attended by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, Mersey Care Chief Executive Joe Rafferty, Yana Williams, Principal and Chief Executive of Hugh Baird College, John Paul Cassidy, Operations Director from Crossfield Construction, and other key stakeholders on the scheme, and included site visits led by the Crossfield Construction team.

The funds will be used to transform the main church into a training hub, which will include a mezzanine and café area, and will be a base for levels 1-6 health, social care and mental health training in partnership with Mersey Care. A new Life Rooms will also be built on the footprint of the current presbytery, which will deliver courses that provide practical life skills and become a community hub.

It will sit alongside a new centre of excellence, which will be redeveloped via an additional £200,000 contribution from Health Education England. It will contain a flexible learning and training space for employees of Mersey Care and other NHS trusts. The Life Rooms will become an educational link to Hugh Baird College and a pathway for the estimated thousands of people that act as young carers without qualifications in the Liverpool City Region.

Yana Williams, Principal and Chief Executive of Hugh Baird College, said:

“Our excellent collaboration with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and other local Foundation Trusts will not only enable more of our students to gain good quality jobs locally, it will ensure our students, particularly those aged between 14 and 18 years of age, have their mental health and wellbeing needs addressed fully. Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our young people is a key national priority and the new Campus is an excellent example of how this should be done.”
“The College is also proud to be leading on a project that will regenerate a key landmark for the benefit of our local population and we are delighted that St Winefride’s Campus will support both our students and the local community to improve their life chances.”

Mersey Care’s Joe Rafferty said:

“This is one of the most important developments Mersey Care is undertaking. There’s much talk about the need for prevention of ill health, be it mental or physical, and as often as not a debilitating combination of both.
“For young people this can affect their educational attainment, their relationships and, therefore, their overall life chances. The success of our two other Life Rooms sites has shown it is a socially affirming model that can provide real support at a crucial time in students’ lives.”

Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, said:

“The Combined Authority exists to help transform our city region for the better and encourage inclusive economic growth that benefits us all. This exciting new facility will do just that, by helping our young people to develop the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century, and I am very proud that we are able to support it.”

Local Growth Minister, Jake Berry, said:

“This new state-of-the-art training hub will help support hundreds of young carers. I’m proud that Government’s Growth Deal funding has supported this transformative project in Liverpool equipping the next generation of carers with the facilities, training and education they need for successful and fulfilling careers.”

For more information and the latest updates about the St Winefride’s Campus redevelopment, visit

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