Wirral Council on property acquisition trail as it looks to kick-start regeneration

At the MIPIM UK commercial property expo in London the authority revealed it is buying two sites in Birkenhead totalling 200,000 sq ft with a further four under negotiation. Tony McDonough reports

The council is close to completion on two deals in Birkenhead

 

Wirral Council is looking to acquire a number of strategic sites and buildings in the borough with two deals in Birkenhead close to completion.

At the MIPIM UK commercial property expo in London the authority revealed that it is buying two sites in the centre of the town totalling 200,000 sq ft with a further four under negotiation.

Its objective is to unlock covenants and leases that are holding back redevelopment and to provide new revenue streams to support local services where buildings are profitably occupied.

On Wednesday it said it was looking to “turbo-charge” the work of Wirral Growth Company, a new joint venture company it is creating with the private sector.

“The council has very ambitious plans for the borough and Birkenhead town centre in particular,” said council chief executive Eric Robinson, speaking in London.

“We are demonstrating we’re prepared to act decisively to bring our regeneration masterplan to life and exploit the market’s appetite for investing in Wirral.

“We are investing significant assets in to Wirral Growth Company so it can hit the ground running with project that provide jobs, regeneration and training opportunities for our residents.”

The council announced at last year’s MIPIM UK that it was investigating the possibility of forming a joint venture with a consortium of investors and developers and sought feedback from delegates as part of a ‘soft market test’. 

The response was so positive the authority firmed up its plans and announced them on a packed Liverpool stand at the giant MIPIM event in Cannes this March.

Mr Robinson added: “We’ve had a very positive response from the investment and development community.”

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