Eureka Mersey 5
The £12m Eureka! science museum, which is included in the framework, is to be built by Seddon Construction

Wirral drawing up 20-year ‘Left Bank’ masterplan

Sarah Townsend

The council is working on the biggest regeneration framework the area has seen in decades, to encompass a stretch of land along the Wirral Peninsula taking in areas such as Seacombe, Liscard, New Brighton, Birkenhead, New Ferry and Bromborough.

The framework is intended to guide future development along the ‘Left Bank’ coastline of the River Mersey, south of Liverpool. It will include seven DAPs (development and land allocation plans) for each area, contained within an overarching policy document on which Wirral Council aims to consult later this year.

Tony Jones, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said in a statement to Place North West: “Wirral is leading an exciting and extensive regeneration programme that will transform the borough and its world famous waterfront, creating an impressive environment and resilient economy for our local communities.

“What we and our partners are working to deliver is staggering in its scale. We have the opportunity to create a clear and deliverable vision for the borough that could attract investment and funding and demonstrate a genuine appetite for change.”

The 20-year plan is “very much in its infancy”, a council spokesperson added, and Wirral is working with partners including consultancy Avison Young, BDP and Optimised Environments as masterplanners, and developers already building in the vicinity such as Muse Developments, to bring the various components together.

Muse is part of the Wirral Growth Company, a joint venture with the council, leading a £1bn project to regenerate Birkenhead town centre. The anchor site is Birkenhead commercial district, which proposes 280,000 sq ft of offices and 36,000 sq ft of retail as well as the relocation of Birkenhead Market. An application for this phase of the 10-15-year scheme was expected this summer.

“By overlaying a comprehensive programme with a structured approach with the application of the [existing] Birkenhead Regeneration Framework, we will ensure we have the right contributors, systems and designs in place to deliver our bold ambitions for Birkenhead and its local communities, enhancing the quality of life for people and providing a positive future for generations to come,” Jones said.

Birkenhead November 2019 1

The Wirral Growth Company is leading the £1bn Birkenhead revamp

While the so-called Left Bank regeneration framework will encompass the Birkenhead town centre plans, it is a far bigger piece of work, taking in almost the whole coastal stretch of the Wirral Peninsula.

Today, Manchester-based architect and engineering firm BDP was appointed to draw up a 15-year masterplan for New Brighton as one section of the framework, tasked with shaping a blueprint for the coastal town to include new retail, leisure, tourism, transport, social and environmental components.

The first stage of the New Brighton project will be to collect input from the local community and other stakeholders to inform the masterplan. The project will also incorporate a comprehensive “movement and access study”, to review traffic flows around the town and facilities for walking, cycling and parking, according to the council.

BDP will aim to begin the initial public consultation in September, with a view to delivering the final masterplan in May 2021.

Meanwhile, fresh proposals for Birkenhead set to be included in the framework include transforming a disused railway cutting that divides the town centre into an 800-metre linear park.

The 10-acre ‘green corridor’ would be designed specifically for walking, cycling and public transport, and run through Birkenhead, from Argyle Street to Rendel Street, connecting the town to Wirral Waters and the Hind Street development site via Central Station roundabout.

“This is a great example of how we can look at our existing assets and find new ways of using them,” said Tony Jones.

“The green corridor will be a catalyst for change in Birkenhead as it will not only provide a fantastic resource to connect communities and encourage local people to be active, but it shows the opportunity we have to reimagine Birkenhead and create a green, sustainable town.”

Wirral Council is consulting on the green corridor proposals this month and is holding two sessions for local residents to contribute their feedback on 12 and 19 August.

The Left Bank masterplan will also take in areas of ongoing development, such as developer Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters, where regeneration specialist Urban Splash is also building new residential blocks, as well as the £12m Eureka! science and discovery centre on the site of the former Mersey Ferries terminal in Seacombe.

The council is exploring possible sources of funding at present, with some initial financing likely to come from its £25m bid to the Government’s Towns Fund for regeneration.

Further details of the framework are to be revealed in the coming weeks and months.

 

 

 

 

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None of this will come to fruition whilst tied to the LCR.

By Heswall

I propose we build a bridge to connect us and expand the city centre into the Wirral. Just imagine their faces when we break the status quo and become a giant metropolis instead of the dormitory town they want us to be.

By Michael McDonut

Wow! This is amazing! I’m so happy the works is getting redeveloped, it really needs it and will definitely bring in more people to live and work.

By David

@Hewall this is only happening because of LCR

By Anonymous

Like with all the other grand schemes over the past few decades, most of this will never see the light of day.

By Mark

Heswell, you really need to change your tune. The Wirral ploughed its own furrow for years to the song of abject decline. It is only since it has embraced its role within the larger LCR, that it has started developing a more professional outward-looking approach. Truth is, the Wirral doesn’t have much of an identity on its own, and certainly not one that investors from far and wide will have heard of. It’s finally showing progress. You should support it, and stop moaning.

By Denby

Excellent news but forgive me… what about the Local Plan? Shouldn’t that be sorted (first). It’s a mockery. Rise above the vocal nimbys and make some decisions. We need more homes throughout the Wirral. Get the sensible conversations about green belt going. Do some proper engagement with developers and residents rather than through a website that operates like 1990s Linux programming software. Why not offer to speak to people and reply to emails?

By West Wirral need a home for my family

This will aggrandise the majestic views of Liverpool that the Wirral has been blessed with.

By Liverpool romance

Shame they do not use local consultants!

By Pjm

One thing is for certain Muse won’t be putting their hand in their pocket unless everything is underwritten by the public sector

By Oscar

Pjm, BDP may be headquartered in Manchester, but they do have a Liverpool office.

By Anon

If New Brighton is to be part of the upgrade nothing could be more obvious than to re-instate the ferry landing stage, there is no need for a grandiose pier , just get the service back running and you will see visitors flocking to this destination daily from spring till late September, or in the off season at weekends.
The river Elbe ferry in Hamburg has smaller , modern vessels and they are extremely popular with local commuters and tourists, also they have a lot more stops on the river than the current Mersey ferry.

By sound

@Heswall, I would imagine that it would be the opposite of what you say. The region around Liverpool needs deeper aggregation rather than separation and isolative mentalities. Successful cities are generally cities whose wider region work as a whole, rather than dividing into provincial silos. There is a reason the phrase divide and conquer exists, due to the weakness of a divided society. Urban areas are like living organisms and together the whole urban area works better when it treats itself as a single entity. Yes, there is a river that divides the Wirral and Liverpool proper, but there are rivers in many cities around the world and these days bridges, ferries and tunnels make that a mute point. That said, there is still room for local pride and this can work perfectly alongside a united city. In any case, this is all great news and I look forward to it.

By EOD

This sounds great but it needs a new breed of developer otherwise the same old same old will be served up supported by bland chains and things like a costa drive thru.
It needs someone like a Capital & Centric to shake things up.

By ShakerMaker

@PJM – Which local consultants come to mind? It`s a genuine question.

By #officesmatter

Great to have a development framework to work toward and if the consultants are the right people, then it doesn’t matter if they’re not local (i think BDP’s Lpool office quietly closed once L1 completed). Local moans aside, the framework needs to address what Wirral is going to be. Liverpool has gone for leisure and retail (same thing?) is Wirral going to compete on that front? Doubt it. Is it going to get the office jobs and PRS flats Manchester has? Unlikely given Liverpool can’t really do that either. There’s no real office market churn to speak of. So, what do you do? They need to build on existing strengths and be bold. Become the first 22nd century ‘city’ fully embrace green tech (first public park, renewable energy resource etc). Translating that into funding, buildings and jobs is the trick though. Without a central vision, it’ll be more of the same disappointing piecemeal development with a lovely expensive report being used as a door stop.

By Bob Allatt

liverpool is a brand we can live without. they cant even do a good job on themselves. why has this been allowed to happen

By Anonymous

not one mention of council houses —–not one mention of work to be carried out by in house teams —we need all contracts to be in house and bring work into Birkenhead—-not for consultants but for Wirral people ——and don’t knock the market down until — you have a new one built or do up old one ——-

By patrick ogorman

I agree with Mark….non of this will ever come to fruition….like all Wirral schemes….particularly developing Birkenhead….its just window dressing by the powers that be to show they intend to keep up with the city across the river….sorry.. it’s all
P……..g in the wind !!!

By Tercol

A local scheme for local people to enjoy even those in Dingley Dell or Heswall as it is sometimes called?

By It came from Heswall

Just a thought. Why not use the old railway as a railway? Get some work back at the docks. Birkenhead lacks purpose. Liverpool’s ugly cousin. The docks are there, the railway is there why not use it? Jobs galore. Might even cost less money, who knows?

By Anon

Good to see the West Bank being redeveloped.

By Brian

@Shakermaker The council should re engage with BCEGI. I saw their bid for the WGC that included some excellent designs for Woodside.

By Merseyslider

This sounds good. Wirral should be seen as south Liverpool. A bridge is definitely needed though for people to feel the connection between the two banks of the Mersey.

By Chris

Good news. The clue hopefully is in the title – Left Bank – ie relationship to Liverpool without which the whole thing is dead in the water. Also v good to see the focus on Birkenhead a proper town badly neglected in the context of the dreadful ‘brand wirral’

By LEighteen

This is a pipe dream.. just like the failed Wirral Waters development.. we’re 10years into a 30 year plan and they’ve built a college and replaced a bridge.. even the latest Nort Bank development has lost investment and gone back out to tender?? If this thing happens? I will show my backside at Birkenhead Town Hall for a week without sleep.. yours in ultimate frustration.. from a very proud Birkonisn.. Sean Trodden

By Sean Trodden

Birkenhead and New Brighton are Liverpool’s Left Bank. New Brighton with all its hip bars and cafés is becoming like the Baltic Triangle on the sea shore and Birkenhead’s heritage is integral to Liverpool’s. The two banks of the river will only be stronger marketed as one destinations.

By The Crows Nest

Why do you refer to Seacombe ferry terminal as ‘former’. When did it stop being the ferry terminal?

By Jenny

Wirral has been neglected because the focus has always been on Liverpool. It still is about Liverpool and how a stronger Liverpool will trickle down and on to the rest, and how we must work as a whole. I am still waiting to see the the proof.

By wool from the dark side

Spent a bit of time walking the Liverpool waterfront lately. Constantly amazed at the stunning potential of both sides of the water.

I still stand by my belief that, with the right development, Liverpool could out-Chicago Chicago…

By North by North-West

The Wirral will always be cheshire so Liverpool give it a rest! Its cheshire’s left bank or left wing.
Liverpool can control its side of the river while the wirral controls its side!

By cheshire

This scheme will soon be forgotten about until the next proposal, then someone will say hey! whatever happened to `20 year Left Bank masterplan` that got proposed?

The Wirral does need to rebrand itself, but being seen and marketed as Liverpool`s `Left Bank` isn`t the one.

We`ve got a lot more to offer than that.

By The Birch Tree FC

When I was a Boy, the Wirral was always spoke of as a wealthy aspirational place to live, in the same way as Knutsford or Wilmslow, yet now it seems to be near the top of leagues around deprivation and poverty. Some of it is very beautiful.I was wonderIng when it lost its shine?

By Elephant

New Brighton is much better than the Baltic Triangle, the Baltic is a dump

By Lol

Birkenhead and New Brighton are not Liverpool`s. And just because a golf club in Holylake gets named The Royal Liverpool Golf Club, does not mean it`s in Liverpool. There seems to be quite a lot of misinformation about it.
I wonder how Liverpool would feel about being labelled Manchester`s West Coast district? Well it`s nothing different than what Liverpool does to the Wirral.

By West Kirby Queen

Some of the comments on here are pure hysteria from some of the Wirral lot with any mention of the word Liverpool. We are part of the Liverpool area and have been for decades from the 0151 number to the old L postcode even the accent is pretty similar. Think you should all look at your council tax bill on there you’ll find out that we all pay tax towards the Liverpool city region combined authority it is there in black and white.

By Wirral LCR

New Brighton does not come close to the Baltic Triangle to call the Baltic a dump compared is just insane ? Baltic was voted one of the trendiest places in UK to live , cant help but feel someone is stirring the pot again who is not from the Liverpool City Region

By Hello

Birkenhead and New Brighton are part of Liverpool City Region as so is West Kirkby am from Aigburth and people from West Kirkby have more of a Liverpool accent than i do?

By Hello

Wirral dialing code 0151 Liverpool dialing code 0151

By Anonymous

Poor leadership, lack of drive and decisiveness and the wrong appointments decision will see Wirral continue to go nowhere. They should have appointed BCEGI – they’d have delivered three schemes by now.

As for New Brighton, the private sector is already busy transforming it without help from the council.

If this moves at all you can guarantee it’ll be at a glacial pace.

By Sceptical

Wirral is Liverpools left bank – fact Liverpool is amazing city – fact

By Anonymous

In Liverpool they refer to people from outside the city as wool, which is separatist. As soon as it comes to beaches and golf courses suddenly everything becomes Liverpool.

By Call me wool

West Kirby Queen….do you hail from the area? Hoylake Golf Club and Royal Liverpool Golf Club are different clubs and courses. RLGC actually gets its name because it was a horse racing course where the Liverpool Hunt met; said to be the location of the original Derby. One only had to look last week where most of the money was going that Rotherham got………St Helens, theyre not bleating because of Liverpool. Go to south America, the Australian outback, Africa, SE Asia, and throughout North America and ask…where is the Wirral?? …then ask where is Liverpool?

By Billy

Dialling codes, post codes (which is Cheshire by the way), means nothing. Wirral is not in Liverpool.

By CH42

@Hello. You might as well blame Manchester. You blame it for everything else.

By Anonymous

Wirral should be honoured to be a part of such amazing City walk along wallasey dosnt it give you goose bumps when you look over at your city centre

By Anonymous

@Heswall my parents where from there but moved to Allerton due to work commitments and for a better future

By Anonymous

Wirral is Cheshire. Always has been always will be. We have our own Councils, we can see Liverpool across that nice big stretch of water, we can go there but that’s about the closest association most of us want thank you very much.

By joe90

What we need in the Wirral (Birkenhead next to Mersey) Is a big sign like in Hollywood

“Welcome to the Wirral
Cheshire”

cheshire has many different accents – from soft scouse on the wirral in the west to lancs in the north, to manc in east, to staffs in far south. and mid cheshire accent in the middle so as a county its quite diverse.

Maybe its time the wirral remarketed its self maybe the whole of cheshire needs to be one again to get devolution money like all the other big boys! so we can spend it where it counts! like in the Wirral cheshire.

By cheshire

Anon – agree BFF have a Liverpool office . It is a max. 5 people and used as a small satellite office. Nothing wrong with this . Just making the point they Are not a local practice.

By Pjm

Love Liverpool

By Anonymous

Liverpool > Cheshire. I’m sorry but Liverpool has far more brand power than Cheshire ever will have. It’s pretty much a non-entity outside the UK unlike Liverpool. The only argument is usually from some stuffy resident who thinks ‘it’s posh’ to be in Cheshire when no one else is really bothered. We need to work together in the LCR for continued improvement not be partisan because some people are still living in 1970.

By NewBrightonMan

our land, our water, our sand, does not belong to liverpool, why is it hard for them to understand?
go to hilbre island and spot a seal, hibre island belongs in the wirral, we will not make you deal.

By Anonymous

The Derby did indeed originate on the Wirral. The Royal designation of Royal Liverpool Golf Course in West Kirkby was recognition of that. The first ‘Derbys’ were organised by the Earl of Derby on the north Wirral sands from his home at Knowsley Hall. His title comes from WEST Derby, the ancient hundred for the whole of south west Lancashire. Wirral’s links with the West Derby Hundred (now the Liverpool City Region), are therefore also commemorated in a horse race, as well as a famous golf course that holds the open every few years.

By The Crows Nest

I have seen comments where some of them actually thought Chester was a part of Liverpool because Merseyrail has a train that goes there.

By Deva Victrix

This “Left Bank” will never happen. It will stall, or most likely never even see a spade in the ground, just like a lot of them do. This is not connected to Liverpool city centre, so it will be even less a concern or priority.

The Wirral needs to re-invent itself. It needs to have sit down and have a good think and to gather the the thoughts of its people, and to listen.

Liverpool`s track record -for want of a word- is abysmal. I think many on the Wirral now know that severing all links to the LCR, Merseyside, and Liverpool itself needs to be put to its people.

By T. Gilbody

Everyone has heard of Liverpool but no ones heard of the Wirral. Well so what!
I’m from the Wirral. It’s near Liverpool in case you’ve never heard of it. Not in Liverpool, just near it.

By Anonymous

@CH 42 you do realise that your postcode CH is because your mail is processed in Chester and doesn’t stand for Cheshire don’t you? It used to be L because it used to be processed in Liverpool.

By Anonymous

The wirral is full of bad wools.

By L5 alive

Warrington got the chance of joining the Liverpool city region once. It said no thanks. Warrington is performing very well at the moment.

By Orford rock

@Gilbody Yeh its Liverpools fault that a spade has not been put in the ground and you still have the same waterfront since 1823 and Wirral has more asbo’s than any other district in the LCR.

By Anonymous

LIVERPOOL IS A FINE LOOKING CITY

By Anonymous

where is Cheshire on the world map ??? Lol joke

By Anonymous

Typical parochial Northern tripe. Liverpool jealous of Manchester, Manchester saying Liverpool has a victim mentality.Cheshire not wanting to be part of either. The Milltowns clinging to Lancashire. We can maintain our identities without ruining our economic prospects.Does anyone know where Birkenhead is South of Stoke? Everyone has heard of Liverpool.

By Elephant

Birkenhead Hamilton Square Underground – the first deep level underground in the world by the way – is 3 minutes from Liverpool James Street Underground. It doesn’t get more connected than that!

By Red Squirrel.

@Oford Warrington missed its opportunity with Liverpool its doing very well for warehouses supplies to Liverpool and Manchester but that as far as it will ever go !!!

By Realist

With regard to Horse racing, I believe Henry VIII raced horses around the “Flats” at Leasowe Castle in the 1500’s which was used as an observation station.
Along with various nobilities from both sides of the river.
Monks ferry the original ferry was started over 800 years ago connecting the two sides of the Mersey.
Numerous Merchants from Liverpool, built houses and landing stages in the wirral and helped in the development of the shores there.
We have been connected for so long and in so many ways, culturally, economically, socially and geographically that we are closer than most people realise.
Over 50 million commuters etc use the road tunnels each year, never mind the ferries and train service.

By All together now

There`s no harm in being connected, everywhere is connected by rail, by road, or by whatever. France and England are also connected by a tunnel, but that`s as far as it goes. Accept it.

It doesn`t mean we can`t all be friends.

By Anonymous

We’re not just friends, we’re kith and kin!

By Liverpolitan.

@Liverpolitan.

With a Wirral outside of the Liverpool Combined Authority.

By Anonymous

Most of the comments here are absolutely pathetic. The article is massively positive for the whole region and let’s just hope this regeneration actually happens. Birkenhead has so much untapped potential and actually deserves much better than it’s current plight. It was designed as a town of the future and was pioneering and prosperous for much of its history. Its time will come again.

By snoutsinthetrough