The £2.7m Seafarers UK Centenary Wing – which includes £1.17m of funding from Seafarers UK – was formally opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex; who is also the President of Seafarers UK, and is an extension to the existing Trinity House Hub.
The Wing has seen a further 22 apartments added which will now offer accommodation to a maximum of 26 eligible residents. The new apartments have been designed to meet the needs and requirements of retired mariners and includes a wet room and call alarm system. Additionally, two apartments have been set up especially for wheelchair users. In total, there are now 40 apartments in the Hub and new Wing combined.
The Seafarers UK Centenary Wing enhances the range of accommodation offered by the Nautilus Welfare Fund: the registered charity administered by the Union. Communal facilities have also been extended in the Hub – which was opened in 2014 by the Princess Royal – including the creation of a new activities room that has been made available for the use of all Mariners’ Park residents.
Speaking after the Wing’s opening, Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said: ‘We are delighted that the new Seafarers UK Centenary Wing is now open and ready for use. Nautilus has been protecting the interests of seafarers for 160 years, and supporting the increasing numbers of retired mariners and their dependents – in particular those over 75 and over 85 years – by providing additional purpose built accommodation, is a key priority for us. ‘These apartments allow 21st century care for our residents and it’s a testament to the likes of Seafarers UK that such a fresh and vibrant building will become home to so many people.’
Director general of Seafarers UK Commodore Barry Bryant added: ‘Representing the largest single grant ever awarded by Seafarers UK, we are proud to both celebrate our own Centenary and reinforce our close relationship with Nautilus Welfare by our support for this splendid building. There is no doubt that the maritime charities can only make the most of their limited resources by such vibrant partnerships, and long may this continue.’
Construction of the Seafarers UK Centenary Wing began in February 2016 and ended on 8 June 2017. The new development is around 2,000 sq m in size with each apartment measuring approximately 70 sq m.
The Seafarers UK Centenary Wing and the Trinity House Hub are located at Mariners Park – a 16-acre parkland site situated on the banks of the River Mersey that boasts views across to the iconic Liverpool waterfront.