Wirral’s cabinet agrees to purchase a number of retail units in the town centre as next phase of public consultation on the future of Birkenhead is set to begin. Tony McDonough reports
Wirral Council’s cabinet has approved the acquisition of a retail development in Birkenhead in a deal the authority says is a ‘key step’ in the ongoing regeneration of the town.
Senior councillors agreed to purchase the the shop units at Milton Pavement and unit 13-15 at St Werburgh’s Square. The regeneration of Birkenhead is being led by the Wirral Growth Company (WGC), a partnership between the council and Muse Developments.
WGC is currently moving forward with major developments at Birkenhead, Bromborough and Moreton and consultation with the public over the future of Birkenhead started earlier this year.
A second phase of the public consultation on Birkenhead is due to start on November 7 and the outcome of this will help shape future regeneration plans for the town.
Milton Pavement is at the heart of Birkenhead town centre and its “strategic” purchase by the council will ensure that any redevelopment proposals arising from the public consultation on the future of the town centre can be delivered and will have a positive impact on the area.
Leader of Wirral Council, Pat Hackett, said: “This investment will deliver two key objectives at the same time – help kickstart the regeneration of Birkenhead which in turn will bring in money in future years to help the council continue delivering the crucial frontline services residents and businesses rely upon.
“The council is facing some very difficult decisions in the coming weeks and months as the impact of almost a decade of austerity continues to bite ever deeper. In the last eight years Wirral Council has seen its funding reduced from central government by more than £250m.
“During this time we have continued to deliver the vital frontline services residents expect and need, but this has become more and more difficult as cuts follow cuts and we are looking at how new and innovative ways of generating cash for these services can be made available.”