Wirral Waters gets £6m funding boost

Wirral Council has secured £6m from the Government to bring forward more than 1,100 homes at the mixed-use site, while the council is also set to back Peel with a £1.5m grant to deliver an industrial scheme.

The £6m grant from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund will allow the council to deliver a package of remediation works across the site, including public realm and utilities, to enable the construction of 1,106 residential units across the area.

These include Peel and Urban Splash’s £55m, 347-home modular-build scheme; Wirral Waters One, featuring 500 homes; and the Belong Urban Village, which includes 34 one and two-bedroom apartments for independent living along with households providing 24-hour support for up to 12 residents each.

Urban Splash’s site is the biggest beneficiary, getting a £2.5m funding package for enabling works, with the other sites across the North Bank receiving funds ranging between £284,000 and £805,000.

The works will need planning consent before they can begin, and Peel as the landowner is required to provide a procurement strategy for the scheme. Under the terms of the funding, the work will need to be complete by March 2021.

Peel had previously warned there was “still work to do” before construction work could begin at Wirral Waters One after the scheme secured planning consent last December; however, the HIF money and infrastructure works are expected to pave the way for construction to start.

Under Peel’s timeline outlined in October last year, a construction tender will be issued this month, with construction starting on site in August.

Cllr George Davies said: “We have said time and again we are determined to maximise every square inch of brownfield land for residential development, as part of our commitment to protecting our precious Green Belt.

“The funding we have secured will help accelerate residential development on the Wirral Waters site, bringing much-needed new homes to Birkenhead.

“Wirral residents can now look forward to major improvement works being carried out at the site, quickly leading to new, attractive homes being developed for families.”

The funding is due to be signed off at a cabinet meeting on Monday, where the council will also discuss a potential £1.5m grant to Peel to bring forward an industrial scheme within the wider Wirral Waters site.

Peel is asking for the grant to support the second phase of its marine, energy, and automotive park, featuring 12 industrial units. This funding would meet a viability gap for the project, valued at just under £6m; the remainder of the funding includes £3.5m from Peel, and a £1m loan from Chrysalis.

The 12 units total 69,000 sq ft, with demand already identified among local and national occupiers. The rent is expected to be £5.75/sq ft.

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