Birkenhead Shop Mobility Service run by WIRED, a local charity, will be closing the present site located in the car park on St Johns Street next to the site of the recently demolished B&M building at the end of July to make room for the regeneration of Birkenhead Town Centre.
WIRED is working closely with officers from the local authority to find an alternative site in the town centre. Alan Evans, Director of Planning and Regeneration has confirmed that the Shop Mobility service is one that Elected Members and officers value and wish to see being retained in a regenerated Birkenhead Town Centre.
Shop Mobility has been providing disabled people with mobility scooters to access Birkenhead Town Centre shops and local amenities for over 30 years. The Shop Mobility service receives a grant to cover some of its costs from Wirral Council, but WIRED covers more than 50% of its annual running costs from charitable donations, fees and sales of mobility aids.
WIRED Trustee and founder member, Dr Paul Dufton said, “A Shop Mobility Service is an essential service within any Town Centre. Birkenhead Shop Mobility Service has been supporting people with mobility issues to access Birkenhead Town Centre for many years.”
Dr Dufton continued, “When looking for alternative accommodation for all of the equipment that we need to keep a fleet of 50 scooters operational, we will need to install wide access electric doors, parking next to the unit and easy access to the Town Centre via scooters. Our current premises offer all of this. We have invested heavily in the building over the years, not least £160,000 Merseyside Special Investment Fund Grant that was secured 10 years ago to make the building fit for purpose.”
The proposed re-development of the Town Centre is an exciting opportunity for the borough and all residents, including those with mobility issues who should be able to access the new shops, cafes and leisure facilities that are proposed for the Town Centre”
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