Waterloo House, Waterloo Road, Runcorn
*Update* December 2019 - We have been notified of an application to demolish Waterloo House and have written to object. The planning application references are (19/00502/HBLBC and 19/00598/HBFUL). The loss of this unlisted but important historic building would be very regretable. A late Victorian gothic Technical Institute which used to stand next door was demolished a few years ago to be replaced by modern flats so it is all the more important that Runcorn holds on to its remaining historic buildings. Read more detail in the BaR News piece here.
*Update* October 2018 - We understand there has been no change and Waterloo House is still standing empty.
Photo: Eveleigh Photography
Waterloo House is the former home of Charles Hazlehurst the soap maker and later became Runcorn Town Hall. The first free public library in Runcorn opened here in 1882. The demand was so great that it outgrew Waterloo House and moved to the newly built Carnegie Library (see separate entry).
In 1977 Waterloo House was converted into the YKK Community Centre for the benefit of residents in the Old Town area. As a combined community centre and library it offered a public location in which members of the community could come together. It closed together with the library in 2012.
Like the Carnegie Library, Waterloo House is located at the centre of the Old Town, within easy walking distance of amenities and transport. Alternative uses could include commercial or residential, although, if a viable community use could be found, that would no doubt provide a much needed service. The Technical Institute next door, which was a fine building in itself, has recently been demolished and replaced with flats. Other buildings in the area are also at risk of being lost. If action is not taken, much of the "Old Town" will no longer remain.