Wirral Growth Company has hired specialist contractor PP O’Connor to knock down part of the Milton Pavements retail complex, and aims to start building 150,000 sq ft of offices at the site by the middle of next year.
The growth company – a 50:50 joint venture between Wirral Council and developer Muse Developments – said the demolition of Birkenhead’s Milton Pavements, along with the B&M store on Claughton Road, would begin in the next few weeks.
The work is intended to pave the way for the company to deliver the first phase of its £1bn regeneration of Birkenhead town centre, a mixed-use development extending from the retail precinct to the junction of Europa Boulevard and Price Street.
Including the 150,000 sq ft to be delivered in the first phase, a total of 280,000 sq ft of offices, as well as 36,000 sq ft of retail and the relocation of the town’s market, are proposed in the masterplan.
Wirral Council plans to occupy a portion of the development as part of its commitment to improve its carbon footprint and scale back use of its estate, which is currently deemed unsustainable, it said.
Later phases of the commercial district redevelopment are plotted to include 700 apartments and townhouses, a 110-bedroom hotel and a 300-space car park.
Mike Horner, director at Wirral Growth Company, said: “This is a key moment in the transformation of the town centre as we will all start to see construction activity and a physical change on the ground.
“The demolition will really kickstart our journey on the Wirral, as we start to see the physical manifestation of our collective vision for Birkenhead that will drive growth and prosperity for the borough.”
Cllr Anita Leech, chair of Wirral Council’s economy, regeneration and development committee, said: “This is the start of a flagship project that will regenerate the town centre – making a statement that Wirral is open for business, despite the current challenges, and ensuring it will continue to transform itself to secure a positive future for its people and its business communities.”
Place North West revealed last October that the growth company was in line to buy Milton Pavements, part of the Pyramids Shopping Centre in Birkenhead town centre, from Mars Pension Fund, a deal that completed in November.