WIRRAL COUNCIL leader Phil Davies has set out a vision for the future for one of Wirral’s most important landmarks.
Speaking last night during a celebration of 50 years of conservation areas in Wirral at Birkenhead Town Hall, he highlighted how collaborative working will ensure Hamilton Square is a key asset of the borough now and into the future.
Hamilton Square Conservation Area incorporates the square itself and a number of surrounding streets and contains 63 listed buildings. Across the whole of the country, only London’s Trafalgar Square can claim to have more Grade I listed buildings than Hamilton Square.
Cllr Davies said: ‘Hamilton Square is a significant location, not just architecturally and historically, but economically. Many businesses and services operate there and many people live around the Square.
‘Wirral has a good track record of working in partnership with other organisations to establish and effectively manage important heritage sites and areas. Places such as Oxton Village and Port Sunlight are thriving as a result of strong management plans and good working relationships. This is what we will try to emulate at Hamilton Square.’
He said that Wirral Council and The BID (Birkenhead Improvement District), the local business improvement team created by Wirral Chamber of Commerce, are both committed to investing in the development of a new Management Plan for the Hamilton Square Conservation Area.
This plan will formalise arrangements as to how the local authority will work collaboratively with partner organisations, heritage groups and local residents and businesses to preserve and enhance the unique character and environment of the area.
Hamilton Square is the only surviving, realised part of a grand design for Birkenhead that was set out in 1825 by James Gillespie Graham. Graham was commissioned by shipbuilder William Laird, who had bought the land upon which the square stands in 1824, to lay out a town centre for Birkenhead in a similar style to Edinburgh’s New Town.
The celebration event recognising 50 years of conservation areas in Wirral took place at Birkenhead Town Hall on Hamilton Square. It was opened by the Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Ann McLachlan, and guest speakers included Alan Chape, Chair of Conservation Areas Wirral, and Ian Harvey, founder and director of Civic Voice.