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.