A joint venture between Wirral Council and Muse developments has secured planning consent for two 75,000 sq ft grade A office buildings in Birkenhead town centre. Tony McDonough reports
Two office buildings offering a total of 150,000 sq ft of grade A space will be built in Birkenhead after planning approval was granted by Wirral Council.
One of the 75,000 sq ft blocks will house 800 Wirral Council workers and the space in the other bock will be made available to the local market. They will be built by Wirral Growth Company, a joint venture between the council and Muse developments.
They form part of a major regeneration of Birkenhead town centre planned for the next couple of years. £50m has been secured towards the project through the Town Deal and Future High Street Fund.
It will mean Birkenhead is stealing a march on Liverpool city centre’s commercial district which is suffering through a lack of grade A space. There is still a question mark over the Pall Mall development after telecommunications giant BT put a pre-let on hold.
The new office space will add to the 25,000 sq ft Hythe office building, currently under construction at Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters, just a few minutes from Birkenhead town centre. Wirral Waters is also seeing the construction of hundreds of new homes.
Jonathan Ashcroft, project director at Muse Developments, said: “These two new office developments will anchor our wider plans for the town, and we’re excited to have reached this crucial milestone so that we can begin to progress on site.
“We know from experience the impact that a successful office development can have on a town. As more businesses, and most importantly people, gravitate to the space, it acts as a catalyst for further investment and regeneration. That’s our vision for Birkenhead too and we look forward to seeing those plans now start to come to fruition.”
Muse will create workspace designed to WELL enabled, which means it will be monitored in relation to its impact on human health and wellbeing through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and the mind.
In doing so, spaces will be created that aim to improve the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns and performance of their occupants, helping to contribute to a more positive work-life balance for modern-day workers.
The office buildings will be complemented and connected by new outdoor public realm and open, adaptable spaces for occupiers, residents and visitors to enjoy, as well as providing opportunities for events and pop-up activities.
Cllr Tony Jones, Chair of Wirral Council’s Economic, Regeneration and Development Committee, added: “The development of a new commercial district in the centre of Birkenhead is a vital part of changing the way that people use the town centre.
“Construction starting on these two buildings will be a significant and very visible step towards making that change happen and clearly demonstrates Wirral’s further commitment to its continued regeneration programme.”