BBC2 show to showcase Birkenhead’s £25m Maritime Knowledge Hub

Mersey Maritime’s project, which aims to create up to 4,000 jobs in Birkenhead Docks, will feature on BBC2’s Our Coast show this weekend. Tony McDonough reports

Our Coast
Our Coast presenters Adrian Chiles and Mehreen Baig. Picture courtesy of BBC Pictures

 

Mersey Maritime’s planned £25m Maritime Knowledge Hub will feature in a new series of the BBC2’s Our Coast programme this weekend.

Adrian Chiles, Mehreen Baig and a team of experts explore four spectacular coastlines linked by the Irish Sea, and meet the people who call them home. Merseyside’s coastline will be the first to be featured with the show airing at 8.30pm on BBC2, on Friday, February 7.

During the programme, engineer Danielle George puts on her hard hat to visit the Birkenhead Hydraulic Tower, a local titan of Victorian industry which was bombed in the Blitz and is now about to become the centrepiece of an industrial renaissance.

Mersey Maritime, the representative body of Liverpool city region’s £4bn maritime sector, is leading the project to transform the site into 60,000 sq ft of new incubation space, teaching, research and development, training, commercial and cultural space. It could lead to the creation of up to 4,000 jobs.

In January, maritime minister Nusrat Ghani visited the site and urged those behind the scheme to get it moving. She added: “Looking forward to returning to break ground on this educational and economic regeneration project.”

Mersey Maritime chief executive said the Our Coast programme showcase what he believes has the potential to have a “transformational impact” on the former dockland area of Birkenhead.

Elsewhere on the show, Adrian Chiles goes on board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 to explore the nooks and crannies of what is the largest ocean crossing liner in the world, meeting passengers who have deep personal connections to the port of Liverpool and the staff who are there to meet their every need.

Mehreen meanwhile is off to board a slightly smaller craft, run by one of the oldest lifeboat stations anywhere in the country – the Hoylake Hovercraft. She gets the chance to join the crew as they embark on a full rescue drill, answering the call of someone who has got stuck in the notorious mud flats of the Dee Estuary.

Other highlights of the show include historian Emma Dabiri on the hunt for a Viking ship that might just be buried under a Wirral pub car park; environmental scientist Tara Shine finding out how the people of Formby are protecting one of the country’s last thriving colonies of red squirrels.

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