Concept

Port Sunlight

Summary
Port Sunlight is a model village in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, Merseyside, England. It is located between Lower Bebington and New Ferry, on the Wirral Peninsula. Port Sunlight was built by Lever Brothers to accommodate workers in its soap factory (now part of Unilever); work commenced in 1888. The name is derived from Lever Brothers' most popular brand of cleaning agent, Sunlight. Port Sunlight contains 900 Grade II listed buildings, and was declared a conservation area in 1978. Port Sunlight has been informally suggested for World Heritage Site (WHS) status to protect it from development and to preserve the unique character for future generations; however, it is not yet on the current UK "tentative list" for future consideration as a WHS. In the 2001 Census, its population was 1,450. In 1887, Lever Brothers began looking for a new site on which to expand its soap-making business, which was at that time based in Warrington. The company bought of flat unused marshy land in Cheshire, south of the River Mersey. It was large enough to allow space for expansion, and had a prime location between the river and a railway line. The site became Port Sunlight, where William Lever built his works and a model village to house his employees. William Lever (who was created a baronet in December 1911, and was raised to the Peerage of the United Kingdom as The 1st Baron Leverhulme in June 1917, and was further advanced to being The 1st Viscount Leverhulme in December 1922) personally supervised planning the village, and employed nearly thirty different architects. Between 1899 and 1914, 800 houses were built to house a population of 3,500. The garden village had allotments and public buildings including the Lady Lever Art Gallery, a cottage hospital, schools, a concert hall, open air swimming pool, church, and a temperance hotel. Lever introduced welfare schemes, and provided for the education and entertainment of his workforce, encouraging recreation and organisations which promoted art, literature, science or music.
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