Birkenhead 6
The Vue Cinema and Europa Pools sites are earmarked for commercial development

Wirral readies Birkenhead consultation after ‘false dawns’

Later this month, Wirral Council’s cabinet is set to approve the start of a consultation on regeneration plans for Birkenhead town centre, set to be delivered in a joint venture with Muse Developments.

A report to cabinet will ask for sign-off for “broad consultation on Wirral Growth Company’s proposed redevelopment of Birkenhead town centre” as part of the wider £1bn Wirral masterplan.

Cllr Angie Davies, portfolio holder for jobs and growth at Wirral Council, said: “Only by listening and engaging with local residents and businesses can we shape a town centre masterplan which will benefit local businesses, improve opportunities for residents and deliver thousands of new jobs.

“We will be asking the question: ‘What sort of place do you want Birkenhead to be?’ and soliciting ideas about improving the public realm, establishing more residential opportunities in and around the town centre, and expanding the leisure, retail and cultural offers available.

“After too many false dawns, Wirral residents are now looking forward to being asked to shape real plans and a concrete set of proposals to regenerate Birkenhead as the commercial and retail heart of Wirral.”

Earlier this year, Wirral confirmed it had chosen Muse Developments as its partner for the large-scale project, creating a 50/50 joint venture called Wirral Growth Company.

The scheme will spread across 32 sites in Moreton, Wallasey, Bebington, Bromborough and Birkenhead, but the majority of regeneration activity will be focused around Birkenhead.

Initial ideas for what a revamped Birkenhead could look like include a new market, improved retail and leisure offers and up to 300,000 sq ft of offices. The council hopes work could start by spring 2019.

At the same cabinet meeting on 26 November, the council is also being asked to approve the acquisition of the Vue Cinema building, which is earmarked as a potential plot for an office development.

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The commercial and retail heart of THE Wirral (as opposed to Wirral, which is nothing more than a local authority boundary) is and has been for decades the city centre.

If Wirral MBC wants to secure proper growth they need to work with that reality, not against it.

Conway Park and Hamilton Square could have strong futures as part of a cross river city centre, and off the back of that Birkenhead town retail too. On they’re own though, they’re not even Liverpool in investment terms.

Separatism is rarely profitable.

By Mike

@Mike. Agree with that. On a global scale Birkenhead IS in Liverpool City Centre. Trying to market it as otherwise is downgrading it’s offer.

By Agree

I believe our youth need to be consulted as well as older people like myself, in order to give town a future.

By Ron Henderson

100% Mike. Any future plan for Birkenhead has to be in the context of its relationship to the city just 1km over the water. The ‘Wirral’ destination strategy over the past 40 years needs to be put out to grass!

By LEighteen

I hope this proves to be a turning-point for Birkenhead and preserves the worthwhile older buildings, especially Hamilton Sqaure as well as introducing new enterprise and jobs.

By Judith

Yes, agree with all. Central Birkenhead is actually in a great position. Hamilton Square and the adjacent Woodside area with its views of the waterfront is one of our very inner city’s assets. It is only one stop away from the city centre and if Liverpool city centre continues to regenerate should be an investment hotspot as a highly desirable place to live. I hope WMBC has the sense to realise this and give some priority to development there and not just at the somewhat artificial ‘town centre’ it has been trying for 20 years to create around Europa Boulevard and the bus station.

By Fluffball

Some cheap things can be done to improve the look of the Wirral such as getting Merseyrail to clear the rubbish from the trackside especially at Birkenhead Park Station. It really makes Birkenhead look scruffy to visitors whether they be business people or tourists. I Also think that the view of Birkenhead from the Pier head needs to be improved it looks uncoordinated and dull and takes away from the impression given by the buildings in at the Pier Head.

By Philip DS

Another money wasting consultation. The plans have already been set in stone just a waste of time. Ive seen this many times from 90s upwards. Consultants make a fortune

By Jillian

Couldn’t we add a bridge from Liverpool to Wirral as everywhere else has one we’re left out over here and should be updated like Runcorn has two I think we should have one aswell we’re left in the past

By Carol ambage

Birkenhead and surrounding area needs direction, the council have to decide what they want it to be, either a destination for Wirral Waters once completed or tourism for Hamilton square and beyond
Definitely more information needed at Pier Head promoting Hamilton Square and Wirral for tourists and direct ferry service to Woodside without stoping at Seacombe first could help

A direct bus service from Hamilton Square or Birkenhead Interchange to the Airport would be beneficial for locals including North Wales and Chester as it would connect with train services or even a direct bus to Liverpool One would be a good start! seeing at the Pyramids (What a name!) is on it’s knees now

Mersey ferry to the airport perhaps, what a way to arrive and depart the city, if they do it in Venice why can’t we!

A cable car across the Mersey, why not?! and so much more!