Multimillion pound Woodside Ferry Terminal upgrade to start

28 February 2024
linkspan bridge being craned into placer at Seacombe
Seacombe South Linkspan Bridge Installation

The £8.6m Woodside Ferry Terminal upgrade is set to start as part of a major project to turn the area into a ‘vibrant and unique waterfront destination’.

The upgrade is being made possible by Levelling Up funding from Wirral Council, which is currently consulting on a £23m Masterplan to breathe new life into the area.

You can find out more about the ambitious plans for the wider Woodside area and have your say on the proposals by taking part in the current consultation (which continues to March 18) - find out how to get involved via the council website.

The new ferry terminal is set to reopen from summer 2025 following complex engineering work to install a new landing stage and linkspan bridge. 

It follows a multi-million-pound modernisation of Seacombe Ferry Terminal, supported by a £7m investment from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which completed in October 2022. The Woodside scheme is part of a wider investment to secure the future of the iconic tourist attraction.

In December last year, Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram signed a £26m contract with nearby Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird to build the first new Mersey Ferry in 60 years.

Cllr Steve Foulkes, Chair of the Liverpool Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

The Woodside Ferry Terminal was constructed in 1985, it’s almost 40 years old and in need of modernisation so we’re able to keep up with the needs of a growing and diverse population. 

This is a great opportunity for us to improve the area for residents however, it’s also a prime time to start encouraging even more tourists to explore the other side of the water by bringing Mersey Ferries back to the area and restoring the service between Woodside and Pier Head, improving the transport links for residents and visitors alike.

Leader of Wirral Council, Cllr Paul Stuart, said: 

We’re excited about the next stage of plans to develop the Woodside Ferry Terminal. This latest regeneration will include developing the space from Argyle Street/Conway Street roundabout down to the Terminal and include improving the landscaping around the area. It will also create more accessible walking and cycling spaces and better connections between the Central Birkenhead retail area and the Waterfront, for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users.

In addition to the plans which are to be delivered over the next couple of years, part of the process in drafting the masterplan has been to generate new ideas to be implemented in the longer term such as the extra-large floating pontoon or a historic ship in the dock as part of a visitor attraction. The consultation, which is open now, is giving everyone to the chance to view these proposals and have their say and we’re encouraging everyone to take part.

Made famous by Gerry Marsden, Mersey Ferries, is more than just the ‘Ferry ‘cross the Mersey’. From humble beginnings as a wooden passenger boat more than 800 years ago, to the receipt of a Royal Prefix from King George V for services in Zeebrugge in the First World War, and playing host to residents, The Beatles, on more than one occasion, the Mersey Ferries has a vast and varied history. Once a small commuter boat, the Mersey Ferries now offers daily River Explorer Cruises, a commuter service suitable for cyclists and pedestrians, and themed evening cruises throughout the summer. 

You can also find out more about the history of the site and see historic pictures of Woodside here.

Wirral Council’s vision for Woodside includes:

  • 1,700 homes within the Masterplan redline and approximately 2560 in total including the areas outside of the redline masterplan.
  • 2 new hotels, but potential for more.
  • 11,300 sqm of active ground floor uses including workspaces, food and beverages, leisure, and health.
  • 2 new multi-storey carparks supporting a centralised parking solution - 1 within the masterplan boundary.
  • Opportunity for a major new cultural attraction.
  • Enhanced public realm.
  • New external event space.
  • Improved cycleways and enhanced connections to public transport and the town centre.

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 providing a new modernised ferry pontoon and works to enhance the Woodside Ferry Terminal.

black and white image of the ferry at Woodside, possibly from mid 20th century

Related Tags