The latest phase of the regeneration of Birkenhead Town Centre is now well underway and being led by the contractor Forshaw overseeing the demolition of the former House of Fraser building.
Forshaw has already completed the internal fixtures soft-strip of the site and begun demolition of the building from the rear car park, continuing to work from the back of House of Fraser. The front elevation is due to be demolished in the coming weeks.
Hoardings are being placed at the front of the former House of Fraser building and will run alongside the pavement to Grange Road, meaning pedestrians will still have access to the town centre from the pavement opposite and there will be no road closures. Once the site is levelled, the hoardings will remain in place to keep the site secure.
The works started on 1 November 2023 and are expected to run for a total of 16 weeks – with an estimated completion date of March 2024.
This comes two months after the initial phase of the town centre regeneration work by Wirral Growth Company was delivered when two highly sustainable office buildings, totalling 150,000 sq ft and with Grade A BREEAM excellent ratings, were handed over to Wirral Council by Wirral Growth Company.
The regeneration work is being delivered by Wirral Growth Company, a 50:50 joint venture between Wirral Council and the national urban regeneration specialist and placemaker, Muse, which aims to provide local communities with new opportunities and revitalise the built environment through regeneration.
It is funded through the Future High Streets Fund, delivered through the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities, to provide co-funding to support transformative and structural changes to overcome challenges and to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that drives growth, improves experience, and ensures future sustainability.
Speaking about the commencement of the second phase of Birkenhead’s regeneration, Steven Knowles, Director of Development Management at Muse, said, “Last autumn we were pleased to see the completion of the first phase, marked by the handing over of the two most sustainable office budlings in the Liverpool region.
“And with the demolition of the former House of Fraser building now underway, Muse is continuing to drive positive change which will create a brighter Birkenhead for local traders, businesses, and residents.
“The town will benefit from this regeneration which is fit for the future, all centred around delivering innovative spaces for residents to enjoy and where businesses can thrive.”
Chair of Wirral Council’s Economy, Regeneration and Housing Committee, Cllr Tony Jones, said, “The regeneration of Birkenhead is, of course, a strategic priority for the council and I’m extremely pleased to witness this next step in the evolution of our town.
“As the demolition of the former House of Fraser building gets underway, it is full steam ahead towards a responsibly regenerated town centre that will benefit generations to come.”
Image: Steven Knowles, Director of Development Management at Muse