Rescue package approved for Wirral river park

Newlands, the Forestry Commission and North West Development Agency joint initiative, is to grant £2.2m towards creation of a new tourist attraction on a former landfill site in Bromborough.

The 70-acre woodland will be created over the next three years and will be called Port Sunlight River Park. The park will offer access to the River Mersey and views across to the Liverpool waterfront.

The project had been planned for several years by the North West Development Agency but was put on hold when the agency's budget was cut due to the recession. The support has now been agreed by central government at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Cllr Jeff Green, leader of Wirral Council, said: "This is fantastic news for Wirral as we turn an eyesore into a tourist attraction. With the Government's backing of £2.2m and the council's commitment to transform this site, we will be able to improve the access from villages such as Port Sunlight down to the coast."

Development partners including Biffa Waste, the Land Trust, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Forestry Commission, Wirral Council and Port Sunlight Village Trust have been working together for over a year to develop a new vision for the site which includes community woodland, open space and the creation of a major new waterfront visitor attraction for Wirral. The Land Trust will oversee the restoration process of turning the former landfill into a regional park before taking the site into its growing portfolio, securing the long-term future of the site.

Euan Hall, chief executive of the Land Trust, said: "The creation of this new park will benefit not only the local community through health, education and social cohesion but also the region through tourism, creating a catalyst for economic uplift. This will be a terrific scheme and credit needs to go to all the partners who have pushed to make this a reality."

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