Have your say on revitalising Woodside
New proposals outline how Woodside can be re-invented as one of Wirral’s key living, leisure, and tourist locations.
The aim is to capitalise on the location’s unrivalled views of Liverpool’s waterfront, with 420 metres of unparalleled river front to optimise, whilst also dramatically improving its connections with Birkenhead town centre and the river Mersey.
Now residents, business owners and visitors are being urged to have their say on the proposals to make the areas around and adjacent to the ferry terminal a vibrant and unique waterfront destination that people want to live, work and visit.
The aim of the masterplan is to attract locals and tourists alike to Woodside, while also making it more energetic through reinvigorating the heritage and history of the town to draw people into this almost unrivalled and distinct location.
The ideas being put forward will also support the other regeneration work getting underway across Birkenhead and the wider programme to revitalise areas across the ‘Left Bank’ of the River Mersey, stretching from New Brighton to Bromborough, and including Liscard, Seacombe and Wirral Waters.
Included in the Woodside Masterplan are proposals to improve travel in and out of the area, including public transport and active travel and also provide detail on how well-placed new buildings will sensitively impact and enhance the skyline while also delivering up to 1700 homes and a mix of hotels, commercial spaces and leisure offers.
The masterplan aspiration is underpinned by £23 million investment being injected into the area through the Levelling Up and Town Deal Funds. This will see the area stretching from Argyle Street/Conway Street roundabout to Woodside Ferry Terminal be redesigned to be more attractive with improved landscaping, more accessible walking and cycling spaces. This will create better connection between the Central Birkenhead retail area and the Waterfront, in particular for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.
The funding will also see a refresh of the U Boat Story and planned expansion for the Battle of the Atlantic attraction, as well as a providing a new modernised ferry pontoon and works to enhance the Woodside Ferry Terminal. Some of these packages of work will commence in 2024 and stretch into 2025. It is going to be a busy 2-3 years for Woodside and will pave the way for private sector partners to come forward in due course with their own projects.
In addition to these in-motion plans, which are to be delivered over the next couple of years, part of the process in drafting the masterplan is to generate exciting new ideas in the longer term such as the extra-large floating pontoon or a historic ship in the dock. At present these are just ideas designed to stimulate discussion and garner feedback around how best to go about defining and energising the area in the coming years to capitalise on its vast potential. The same applies to the masterplan’s discussion on tall buildings, which aim to maximise key views to and from Liverpool whilst also being respectful of the local setting and heritage context. All new ideas and proposals will be subject to high-quality design and further consultation.
Cllr Tony Jones, chair of Wirral Council’s Economy, Regeneration and Housing Committee, said:
The Woodside Masterplan is another vital piece in the wider regeneration of Birkenhead and the Left Bank area of Wirral.
This is a chance for people to have a look at the ideas being put forward and tell us what they think. We have secured considerable funding for regeneration and we want to press ahead but it is vital that the regeneration works for the people of this borough – so please use this chance to tell us your thoughts about these proposals so we can make sure this meets the needs of those who ought to benefit the most from it.
And please remember that at this point no final decisions have been made, and we know there have been a lot of consultations taking place and we keep asking for views but this shows the scale of our ambitious regeneration programme for Wirral.
The consultation on the Woodside Masterplan is open for contributions until 4 March 2024. You can take part online by going to the council’s consultation website haveyoursay.wirral.gov.uk where you can find the Masterplan and other information, as well as the questionnaire to give your views.