Redevelopment plans for Birkenhead waterfront with ‘one of the best views in the world’ move forward

Plans to develop the Birkenhead waterfront at Woodside with “one of the best views in the world” have moved forward.

Wirral Council officers have approved a £909,422 contract to leading builder John Sisk and Sons to further develop £21m plans to regenerate 400m of waterfront in Birkenhead near the Woodside Ferry Terminal so that construction is ready to begin.

This project is being driven by Town Deal and Levelling Up funds, some of which needs to be spent by March 2025.

Previous plans put forward included new footways and pavements, improving transport links, new green spaces, as well as cycle lanes to promote active travel by walking or bike. These would be focused around Hamilton Square, Argyle Street, and the waterfront near the ferry terminal.

A Wirral Council plan for the area previously said, “With Liverpool’s growth and busy skyline, Birkenhead could be seen as the poor relation, but the change in density and the access to great public hard-wired infrastructure of the grid iron plan, underground railway, road tunnels, gentle density and public parks is a key asset for a different offer to its neighbour.”

In January, Wirral Council said £22.6m would be going towards the waterfront regeneration made up of funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for Argyle Street, levelling up funding for Woodside, £3m to revamp Hamilton Square, as well as £1.1m provided by Wirral Council.

At a regeneration committee meeting on 22 January, councillors agreed to move the plans forward and appoint contractors for the waterfront as well as changes on Conway Street and Europa Boulevard.

In the latest report published on 28 March, it said the budget for the whole waterfront programme is now £21m but this could increase by £3m if secured funding from the combined authority is formally approved.

Urging councillors to move the plans forward in January, regeneration committee chair Cllr Tony Jones said, “This is now all about delivery and if we get cracking we are actually going to see a complete and utter change to some of the roads that we are so familiar with, some of the traffic jams that we are all so familiar with.”

The waterfront revamp will form part of Wirral Council’s regeneration plans for Woodside that looks to create “one of the best development sites on the Wirral, if not Merseyside,” adding, “This is Brooklyn to the New York skyline – the great place to live with an amazing view, but so much more.”

Wirral Council finished a public consultation on its masterplan for the area on 18 March. This includes a vision for potentially 2,560 homes in the area, new hotels, commercial space, new cultural attractions, and other major changes.

However, according to a March update on the council’s draft Local Plan which outlines developments on the Wirral, only 594 homes will be delivered in the area by 2040. A previous trajectory said the first homes were not expected until 2026 at the earliest.

Image: An impression of how Woodside could look in the future. Credit: Wirral Council

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