Birkenhead Market, P.Place North West
The current market building is deemed not fit for purpose. Credit: Place North West

Wirral confirms location of new Birkenhead market 

Dan Whelan

Some of the council’s £24m Future High Streets funding will be used to bring forward early designs for the venue, to be located on the former House of Fraser site. 

Wirral Council bought the 70,000 sq ft department store earlier this year for £2m and said last month it was the frontrunner to house the new market.

The new structure will replace the existing 90,000 sq ft Birkenhead Market as part of plans to regenerate the town that are being led by Wirral Growth Company, a joint venture between Muse Developments and the council.  

“The general look, feel and operation of Birkenhead Market has become tired externally and internally,” a report to Wirral’s policy resources committee said. 

Some market traders have opposed the plans to relocate the market, which the council maintains is “costly to operate and requires a major transformation to make it more appealing and fit for modern market trading conditions”. 

The original plan had been to temporarily relocate the market to St Werburghs Square to allow for demolition of the old structure prior to the creation of the new-build market. 

However, this idea has been scrapped and traders will only have to move once; from the old market to the new one. 

Other options previously considered as potential locations for the new market include the former B&M and M&S sites. A replacement structure on the existing market site was also considered. 

Elsewhere in Birkenhead, Canada Life will forward fund the construction the first phase of the £1bn regeneration of the town centre; two offices totalling 150,000 sq ft. The fund will invest £75m in the project.

Wirral Council director for regeneration and place Alan Evans said: “Wirral Council remains committed to ensuring the Market is at the heart of the rebirth of Birkenhead as we move ahead with the town’s biggest regeneration in generations, with £98m government support secured this year to support comprehensive regeneration across the borough.”

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We need to shop and spend our money locally to get the Wirral’s local economy going. No disrespect to Liverpool but we must shop within our own locality.

By Heswall