Ion Developments, formerly known as Neptune Developments, today started a public consultation exercise into the leisure-led regeneration of Birkenhead town centre around Europa Boulevard.
Steve Parry, managing director of Ion, said: “This is a slightly different approach to consultation. We have very specific plans to redevelop the Europa Boulevard area in partnership with the council to create a new leisure and evening economy destination within the town centre. However, this is only the initial phase of a regeneration strategy that the council is looking to develop and implement. There is an opportunity to take a much wider look and begin to think about more radical and transformational change. The town has some incredible assets and opportunities.”
The Europa Boulevard project involves the relocation of the swimming pool and the redevelopment of the existing Europa Pool site to create a leisure destination with a cluster of family restaurants and a Travelodge hotel around the Vue cinema.
The development aims to add a missing element in Birkenhead’s offer as well as expanding the town centre and beginning to improve links to Peel’s Wirral Waters development.
Ion is also encouraging debate among residents and businesses through its Move Ahead Birkenhead campaign around other proposals such as:
- Revitalising Hamilton Square
- Exploiting the potential of the Woodside waterfront as a destination, something Npetune has looked at previously
- Strengthening the town’s distinctive shopping offer and improving Birkenhead Market
- Attracting a more diverse residential population back to the town centre
- Improving connections and access to the town centre
The Move Ahead Birkenhead process is being supported by Ion’s design team that includes Dutch urban design specialist MVRDV. Representatives from the Rotterdam-based practice are in Birkenhead this week and project leader Jan Knikker said: “Birkenhead is like a rough diamond. It just oozes potential, the sheer beauty of Hamilton Square and the wonderful view over to Liverpool’s skyline. You can do so many great things here. We need to make a place where people feel proud to live, and that will stop people in their tracks when they get off the ferry or the train.”
The public exhibition is being held inside The Pyramids shopping centre at a unit close to the Food Court, and opened on Thursday. You can visit today from 10am-6pm and on Saturday from 10am-5pm.