ABOUT BLACKBURNE HOUSE
Blackburne House, formerly the Women’s Technology and Education Centre (WTEC), was established in 1983 with the aim of progressing women from disadvantaged backgrounds into employment within technical professions – an area in which, at the time, women were significantly under-represented.
The organisation grew quickly and considerably and, in 1991, moved into new premises in Liverpool’s famous Georgian Quarter. More than £4m was raised in order to breathe new life back into Blackburne House and the beautiful, Grade II-listed building became our new home.
Today, Blackburne House is a vibrant and thriving organisation and one of the country’s leading education centres for women – but we wouldn’t have experienced the growth we have without the help of our partner organisations. Over the years, we have established a number of successful social enterprises that succeed in supporting our educational aims and provide tangible examples of how new markets can be used to serve local communities.
Attracting thousands of visitors each year, our facilities now include a thriving bistro, health spa, conference and events facilities and a 30-place nursery.
HISTORY OF THE BULDING
Blackburne House is a stunning Grade II-listed building, situated on Hope Street in Liverpool’s famous Georgian Quarter. Hope Street was voted Britain’s Best Street in 2012 and it’s little wonder; it’s a strikingly beautiful area, boasting two cathedrals and some of the best restaurants in town, not to mention a lively arts scene and independent retailers. You can read more about Hope Street here.
The building has a deep-rooted history in providing education to women and girls – dating as far back as the mid-1800s as the first girl's school in the country – with some well-known faces passing through its doors, including former MP Edwina Currie, actress Tina Malone and journalist Gillian Reynolds, who was awarded an MBE in 1999 for her services to broadcasting.
The Liverpool Institute High School for Girls, as Blackburne House was formerly known, closed its doors in 1986 and the building remained unused until 1992. We reopened the doors to a totally transformed Blackburne House in 1994, following an extensive programme of regeneration.
Today, the building retains much of its original charm, whilst a suite of new facilities ensure it is comfortable and accessible for students and visitors alike.
We are currently undergoing a planned refurbishment programme of the building to ensure its continuation of purpose, reduced environmental impacts and to future-proof it for the student and visitors of the future.
You can read more about the history of Blackburne House here.
VISION & VALUES
The vision of Blackburne House is to educate and upskill women so that they can pursue professions in every sector and at every level – including maintenance, logistics and technology, where women are still typically under-represented.
We aspire to give confidence to the women we work with so that they can go on to live independent lives, believe in their dreams and achieve their ambitions. We want to inspire our women to believe that anything is possible.
We want to instil a culture of empathy and understanding; of inclusion and acceptance. We want to overcome prejudice, discrimination and adversity and create a positive and holistic environment where women can share, learn and grow.
At Blackburne House, we have a core set of values that is ingrained into everything that we do. Those values are integral to our organisation, helping to define our long-term aims and objectives and influence the way we work.
Inspiration - We are committed to inspiring the women we work with at Blackburne House; raising aspirations is built into our education and development programmes and always reflected in our teaching, working and the services we provide.
Transformation - By thinking and working creatively, we continually seek new ways to meet and exceed our financial, social and environmental aims – renewing and transforming areas of our business to ensure that we positively influence everyone who works with us.
Equality - Blackburne House actively promotes a holistic approach to improving the lives of women – all women. We are committed to developing the services we offer to ensure that we are delivering services that will contribute to improving the lives of women.
Independence - We seek to promote confidence amongst the women we help and aim to equip them in order that they can be both personally and financially independent. We have also established a number of social enterprise businesses and a programme of charitable activity so that Blackburne House can be commercially independent.
As a high-performing social business, our social purpose and the social value we create is key to all of the activities undertaken at Blackburne House. We are home to a wide range of social businesses including The School for Social Entrepreneurs, Blackburne House Bistro, Blackburne House Nursery, The Health Place, and Blackburne House Conferencing and Events – all of which create social value for the wider community.
All of our profits enable us to deliver outstanding educational and economic opportunities for women from across the city who view Blackburne House as a safe place to access learning and personal development.
Feedback from our learners and customers has proven that, by offering a range of educational opportunities, women across the city go on to access higher education and employment, becoming role models for their family and friends.
Blackburne House is key to the economic activity of many women and this can only be achieved as our social enterprises generate income and opportunities.