Council has to find £1.3m to plug Liscard funding gap

Wirral Council needs to find an extra £1.3m to regenerate Liscard town centre.

The council was awarded £10.79m in 2023 to revamp Liscard town centre in the third round of levelling up funding. The council had bid for a total of £12.34m for the work they want to do in the town.

The bid focused on improving shop fronts, as well as changing key road junctions and “unlocking high-quality residential development in Liscard Village by addressing its viability gap.”

The funding was welcomed by both Labour and Conservative councillors in Wallasey. Liscard Labour councillor Janette Williamson said the town was “on the up” with more and more independent businesses settling there while Wallasey Conservative councillor Ian Lewis said he hoped the money “won’t be wasted on branding and logos, but will be the start of genuine regeneration of the area.”

People in the town told the LDRS they wanted to see a wider variety of shops, streets cleaned, antisocial behaviour tackled, and pavements and roads improved.

A report brought before the local authority’s Policy and Resources committee outlines how the council will address the shortfall in funding for the project. The council is in active discussions with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to use pre-development funding.

The report added, “As this has not yet been confirmed, a request is being made to the council’s capital programme to provide a contingency in the event a local contribution from elsewhere cannot be secured.

“Failure to meet the local contribution for the Levelling Up Fund could jeopardise the council’s opportunity to secure £10.788m of Levelling Up Funding and would undermine delivery of the Liscard delivery programme.”

In a press release updating the public on different regeneration projects including Liscard, Wirral Council leader Cllr Paul Stuart said: “2024 will be an exciting and vital year in delivering truly transformative regeneration.

“For the last couple of years, we have been working steadily behind the scenes, securing significant funding from public grants and private investors, drawing up plans and consulting local people on Wirral’s ambitious regeneration ideas.

“As with any series of major projects on this scale, we can’t do everything we had hoped for, circumstances change, costs rise for reasons such as inflation, and the risks of some projects change and grow such that we don’t feel it is an appropriate and prudent use of council taxpayers’ money.

“But there can be little doubt the work being done now and coming through in the next few years will help make Wirral an even better place to live, work and visit.”

Images: Wirral Council

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