John Whinnerah Institute

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The preserved Abbey Road frontage of the John Whinnerah Institute in 2016

The John Whinnerah Institute is a Grade II listed Art Deco building and former educational establishment located on Abbey Road in Barrow-in-Furness, England.[1] Having been constructed between 1937 and 1938 on the site of the demolished Jute Works it is the newest listed structure in the town,[1] despite this it was drastically altered in 2004 when the entire interior was demolished to accommodate new retail units leaving only the Abbey Road and Hindpool Road facades.[2]

The building was constructed post the Unemployment Act 1934 specifically to house the Barrow Women's Institute and Junior Instruction Centre which had been using temporary premises since founding in 1925.[1] The building is a major success story of early 20th-century attempts to improve educational facilities for young people and women from the poorest areas of major industrial towns and cities in the UK.[1] The John Whinnerah Institute was ultimately described by the President of the National Union of Teachers, as 'the finest Women's Institute in this country'.[1] The building was named in honour of John Whinnerah, the Mayor of the Borough of Barrow-in-Furness between 1928-1929 and 1929-1930.[3]

The original footprint of the John Whinnerah Institute is now occupied by a Next and Brantano store, which form part of Hindpool Retail Park.[2]