Exciting new regeneration plans for Birkenhead have been revealed, and local residents will have their say on what Birkenhead will become.
Earlier in the year, the council set up Wirral Growth Company joint-partnership to bring regeneration, new homes and businesses to Wirral and the first ideas for Birkenhead have been drawn up to be shared with local residents and businesses.
Birkenhead town centre is expected to see new commercial offices built around Conway Park train station, with outstanding transport links to the Merseyrail underground network and Liverpool and beyond.
Currently, Liverpool City Region has a shortage of high-quality, purpose built offices and struggles to compete with neighbouring towns like Warrington and Manchester. But plans to build 300,000 sq ft of Grade A office space in the town centre will put Birkenhead back on the region’s business map.
There have also been discussions about creating a new market which acts as the magnet at the core of the retail offer in Birkenhead. A new market with good quality produce, food and beverage, and independent retailers would once again make Birkenhead a destination for visitors from across Wirral, Merseyside and beyond.
Modern retail is changing quickly and successful high streets are now more about ‘experiences’ and ‘destinations’ than just chain stores and department stores. Today, ‘going into town’ means not just ‘going shopping’, it often includes a meal, a film or a day out with friends and family. Rather than compete with out of town shopping centres, outlet malls and Liverpool One, Birkenhead will look to redefine its retail offer as part of a wider leisure and entertainment hub.
Vibrant town centres are all about footfall and visitor numbers, so with a 9-to-5 commercial workforce, a high quality shopping and market offer it also makes sense to look at bringing new leisure opportunities into the town centre. Cinemas, swimming pools, gyms and cultural attractions also add to the appeal of Birkenhead for a day out. And where people are gathering in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening, restaurants, bars and cafes spring up, adding more interest and appeal to the town centre.
Wirral Growth Company will be announcing a series of public events, consultations and engagement opportunities to share these ideas with local residents and businesses over the coming weeks. There are also a range of temporary events, ‘pop up’ stores and food offers being proposed to start to attract people back to Birkenhead.
Working with Wirral Council and the Imagine Wirral team, a range of activities and events are planned to coincide with Wirral being appointed Borough of Culture in 2019, from the return of the Giants, the River of Light to a host of new activities and events which will all help to build Birkenhead’s new brand as a place to work, live and enjoy.