Birkenhead Town Centre 1
Wirral Council selected Muse as its development partner in 2018

Birkenhead’s £1bn regeneration takes step forward  

Dan Whelan

Wirral Growth Company, a joint venture between Wirral Council and Muse Developments, has lodged plans for a 15-year transformation of Birkenhead town centre, creating office and residential space and a new market hall. 

If the plans are approved, the first phase of development will bring forward two office buildings totalling 190,000 sq ft, which are anticipated to be on site by the middle of next year. 

The vision, which also proposes public realm improvements and leisure space, was first revealed last November. 

A report to the council’s cabinet in February gave the joint venture the green light to draw up the plans for the scheme after approving a business case for the project. 

The anchor site is Birkenhead commercial district, the plans for which include 280,000 sq ft of offices and 36,000 sq ft of retail, as well as the relocation of the market. 

Talks about a new site for the market are ongoing. The vacant former M&S and B&M buildings are potential locations, the council said.  

Later phases of the commercial district redevelopment could include 700 apartments and townhouses, a 110-bedroom hotel and a 300-space car park. 

Birkenhead Town Centre 2

The first phase of the project will feature 190,000 sq ft of office space

Wirral Growth Company was formed in 2019 after the council selected Muse as its development partner the previous year, creating a 50:50 joint venture to deliver a long-term vision to regenerate the town. 

Mike Horner, development director at Muse Developments, said: “It’s a proud moment for all associated with the growth company as we reach this significant milestone, which is the culmination of months of hard work. 

“We’ve taken the thoughts of the community into consideration, which I hope they can see in the final masterplan. We’re committed to working with the council and all stakeholders as we bring forward a new vibrant vision for Birkenhead.”

Tony Jones, Wirral Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth, added: “This is a pivotal time for Wirral. [The council] has long harboured ambitions to see the borough fulfil its potential as a desirable destination for businesses to locate to, families to live and visitors to discover.” 

AHR Architects is the masterplanner for the project, and Barton Willmore is the planning consultant. 

Greg Dickson, director at Barton Willmore, said that Wirral Growth Company’s plans represent “a rare opportunity to redefine the heart of the town centre”. 

Gillespies is the landscape architect, Hannan Associates is the building services engineering and utilities consultant, and Curtins is the structural and civil engineering consultant and Walker Sime is contract administrator.

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Bring it on ! About time this part of the Wirral got its share of investment instead of of it all going to Liverpool. Our council needs to build offices and attract jobs too and should be well placed to do so.

By Anonymous

it would be miraculous to see some investment and money spent on this side….for once.

By belmont 1884

It won`t see the light of day. No shovels are going in the ground. They`ll forget to bring them from Liverpool city centre.

By Heswall

One thing I envy about Birkenhead, are the majestic views of Liverpool.

By Liverpool romance

It`s nothing more than a sweetener. Soon forgotten.

By Heswall

I think its good but worried there will be no shops to go to there’s already hardly any for the older generation who can’t go to liverpool or bromborough there’s nothing for us oldies dont u care about us

By Mrs evans

Peel landlords. NOTHING will progress.

By Fred

Great to be part of the Liverpool City Region. Investment on both sides of the water.

By Heswall

I don’t understand the them and us mentality when our centres are less than a mile apart. I’m from the Liverpool side and only wish Wirral good fortune and prosperity.

By Merseysider

Get the trams running from Woodside to town when they get off the ferry they can jump a tram see what a great town it is and have tram station by the shops and restaurants

By Phil

I’ve always had a vision of a bridge to join the Wirral to the city centre to build a connected Liverpool metropolis.

I can imagine the faces of those in Whitehall and Manchester, when it finally hits them that their engineered status quo has been smashed into little pieces.

By Michael McDonut

This is very much needed I moved back to the Wirral in 2017 after 20 years off living in Suffolk and was so upset the market is a waste of space and the town centre is so under occupied and run down looking forward to some money spent on it.

By Quinn moss

They need more offices in Liverpool so the Birko`s can have a job with prospects and pay tax.

By Mary Malarkey

We might get a bit of that Manchester glitz when Liverpool becomes Manchester’s West Bank. Here’s hoping, at least it will bring some investment.

By L5Romance

Extend the tramway to the new Birkenhead Centre and link it up to Peels’ Wirral Waters.You will have an integrated transport system which is clean, green and much needed.

By Mr.C.

Phil – Neat idea about the trams – but the historic vehicles would not meet current accessabilty standards. A blended operation something like Blackpool would be the exemplar to follow.

By Bob Robinson

I honestly do hope this project will materialise….but I have my doubts….an awful lot of investment in an area with no focal landmark signature …no remarkable traditional infrastructure…..for a ‘Capital’ town in a socially attractive conurbation….Birkenhead is woefully lacking

By Tercol

Should as much emphasis be out on office space when post Covid the trend is very likely going to continue to be working from home with companies saving money on the amount of office space they need to hire. Just asking.

By Barbara Wilmer

Birkenhead has long needed the pryimids to be vitalised as so many shops closed it is not a pleasant place to shop but I hope the market finds a home as this is the heart of the shopping area so many great memories

By June

Things have moved on since November 2019 so please reconsider your plans. Will extra office space be needed? Have you considered bike lanes and connected transport links? How has Covid-19 altered your planning? Investment in Birkenhead is so necessary but it must be well thought through.

By Margaret Reid

Building a new market, while the current retail model is
In meltdown.
The present market is shadow of its former self

By Steve Barnes

I’m all for regenerating Birkenhead and think it is long overdue. I live here, and have spent most of my life here, as has my family for generations.

The concerns I have, are that the plans are based on the economy pre covid. All businesses are adopting ‘new norms’ at the moment, and who knows what that will look like in 6 months time, never mind when the development is complete.

To invest in office space, certainly needs more thought.

I’m a partner of an accountancy practice, and many of the businesses I work with are considering whether a fixed, long term office space is ever going to be required again. Furthermore, lots of businesses in the retail and hospitality sector are rethinking their ongoing strategy.

In my view, the future of business is likely to be a lot more fluid, and flexible. With shared offices spaces or satellite offices being the new norm and pop up shops and restaurants becoming much more common place.

If funding is available, why not try to leverage of the changes going on in the world, and be a step ahead of the rest of the country, by having a really adaptable space designed, with interchangeable stores (like a market but with changeable branding), open office spaces, and high tech infrastructure. If you want to regenerate Birkenhead an encourage businesses into the area, you need to make brave bold moves.

By Lucy Williams

Hotel absolutely laughable, who the hell would want to stay here, the town has been stuck in a 1960s vortex and nothing will be done, you will keep seeing artists impressions for years

By Graham

funny when they build things nowadays they don’t leave them up long before they want them change it around where the bus station going too

By Mr nobody

Birkenhead needs connection to Liverpool by a bridge. I’ve said this for a long time. We could even extend the city centre into the Wirral and become a large metropolis.

Of course this will not fit into the plans of those in power, who want to see Liverpool as a satellite town, but it can still be achieved.

By Michael McDonut

@Barbara Wilmer & Lucy Williams, re, COVID and offices. Well, trends in other countries have shown that most people are returning to offices. A recent Guardian article showed that Italy, France, Germany and Spain a couple of weeks back had a 70-80% return back to offices – and this is with COVID still strong and no vaccine. Auckland in NZ, which had until recently eradicated COVID had a 90% return to offices. The UK on the other hand was lagging far behind. Would the UK also follow the trend of other countries or stand out on its own? Why is it standing out, is it that our offices are more cramped and less comfortable than those abroad? Is it our terrible, long commutes, poor roads and terrible public transport that is finally coming back to bite us? l don’t know, but my hope is that people return to offices in the UK, because if they don’t, it will destroy our city centres. Think about it, all those empty offices, means not only derelict buildings, but a derelict city centre. All those businesses that rely on the city centre office workers, bars, cafes, restaurants, retail, museums, galleries, gyms, theatres, cinemas, everything will face almost certain closure. They can’t survive on weekend traffic alone. If we in the UK stand out as the only country that doesn’t return to offices, it will be a double whammy hit for us, as tourists will leave us in droves – after all, if the city centres across Europe are all thriving, why travel to a UK city? So yeah, a bit of flexibility is good, but too much will not be.

By EOD

Dont understand some of the negative comments from those on the Wirral. This has nothing to do with LCR or the City of Liverpool, its Wirral Council and a development company. Blame Wirral Council for not investing in its area….. why should Liverpool City do it? But if there can be some leverage and access to grant aid through LCR or Central Gov…..why not!

By Billy

This will be great news if it goes ahead. Our council needs to keep building its own identity and continue separating itself by from all of the negative connotations associated with Liverpool.

By Anonymous

More Soviet blocks. Jesus, as if the area hasn’t suffered enough, this is the best that can be offered.

By Richard

Please can investment be put into New Ferry

By Christine Cowley

Needs a railway station back IN the town on a reopened line from Rock Ferry to Bidston. But no,the usual typical short sightedness of a greedy council want more cars and parking. Missed opportunities again.

By Johnno

Maybe make new factory jobs in Birkenhead so people don’t have to travel 20 miles outside Birkenhead that would be good for the community.

By Rob

There isn’t a ‘them and is’ – we are as one both sides of our great river. The negative comments are planted from Manchester.

By Red Squirrel

This will surely be good for Birkenhead and the whole of the Wirral if it brings jobs . The council needs a strong identity to attract more big employers to the area Unilever can’t do it by itself!

By Anonymous