Birkenhead Market development plans await December report

Work is progressing on the development of Birkenhead Market.

A comprehensive report is due to be presented to councillors in December outlining the options and proposals for the future of the market.

At the present time – ahead of the meeting of the Economy, Regeneration and Housing (ER&H) Committee to be held on 6 December 2023 where the report will be presented – no decisions regarding the market have been made.

On 10 November 2021 the council’s Policy and Resources Committee authorised the Director of Regeneration to adopt a preferred option: to demolish, design and develop the former House of Fraser site to accommodate a new market.

Work on this option has continued but several factors have impacted this. These include rising costs and the opportunity for the council to purchase the Grange and Pyramids shopping centre to support the wider regeneration of the whole town centre.

In addition, during this time, Wirral was invited to take part in the Government’s Simplification Pathfinder programme which aims to allow more efficient delivery of projects supported by funding through the Future High Streets, Levelling Up and Town Deal grants.

These changes have led to a review of the available ways to provide a suitable location for the Market. To meet the deadline for taking part in the Pathfinder programme they have been included in the indicative Investment Plan submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, as potential options to be considered. These were potential options and are not binding. A final decision will be made by council committees and engagement with market traders.

Officers are now working on a full range of Market options for councillors to consider. These will be set out in the report to the December ER&H Committee. This work is being carried out to ensure that Members will have as much information as possible so they can determine the best course of action.

The decision of the ER&H Committee will be presented to the Policy and Resources Committee for consideration as required.

The House of Fraser site is part of the masterplan for the St Werburgh’s area. Work continues to progress at that site and the demolition process will be taking place over the coming months.

No decisions on the future of the market have been taken since the instruction of P&R committee in November 2021 referred to above. Any future decisions on the development of the Market will rest with Members of the council.

Image: www.birkenhead2020.com

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