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Future of Wirral laboratory building to be decided
A COMMUNITY group is hoping councillors will delay a decision over the demolition of the historic Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory.
Wirral's ruling cabinet is set to approve plans for the building, which is on Bidston Hill, to be knocked down due to maintenance costs.
The laboratory's current leaseholders, the Natural Environment Research Council, struggled to find someone to take over the lease and therefore want to demolish it.
However Bidston Preservation Trust chairman and Wirral Taiko Dragon Drummers chairman Peter Crawford believes the 1970s building would be "perfect" to house a centre for Taiko drumming.
Councillors deferred their decision when they last met on June 21 but Mr Crawford is hoping they will further postpone a resolution until a full business plan has been drawn up.
He told the Globe: "This building would be absolutely ideal for the Wirral Taiko Dragon Drummers to move into.
"There is such a demand for the project and there are enormous health benefits involved for people with mobility mental problems.
"We are in talks with consultants to get a proper plan together so we want the councillors to either reject or postpone their decision until the project is fully in place.
"The site is perfect for this particular use especially as the noise from the drums would not affect any residential area and there would be no planning issues involved.
"The building should be preserved historically – it is a landmark."
The four-storey building on the site, known as the Joseph Proudman Laboratory Building, was used for research purposes until 2005 when staff were transferred to new purpose-built premises at the University of Liverpool.
According to council documents, which will go before cabinet on Tuesday, the building is proving "very expensive to maintain" for NERC and they believe that the "most effective course of action" would be demolition.
Council leader Phil Davies said the Taiko drummers’ plans will be considered.
He said: "We want to make sure that the Taiko Drumming Centre (TDC) is given every opportunity to demonstrate that they have got a business plan which is deliverable. If they have, we can look at it in more detail.
"It is important to know that even if consent is given to demolish the building, the TDC's plans will still be considered and will not be dismissed."