Update on Birkenhead and Wallasey town halls

Wallasey Town Hall could reopen as early as June 2024 as Wirral Council carries out repairs on the building.

An update on both of its town halls in Birkenhead and Wallasey ahead of a Policy and Resources committee meeting on 13 December outlines the next steps the local authority plans to take with both buildings.

Wallasey Town Hall was closed after the Leverhulme Estates inquiry finished in July. The original plan had been to close the town hall in April to save the council £400,000 but it now only expects to save £200,000 because of this.

The closure also allowed the council to catch up on some repairs for the building which are now expected to finish between April and June 2024. A council survey showed it was £8m behind on repairs to the historic building.

On 13 December, councillors are being asked to keep the building closed until works finish and councillors receive a report with options on how both Birkenhead and Wallasey Town Halls could be used in the future. New CCTV cameras and Perspex window protection has been installed on the ground floor windows to keep the building secure in the meantime.

A heritage report on Wallasey’s town hall was carried out in March 2023 which “outlined the constraints of the building and reviewed at a high-level several options such as residential, educational, wedding and function venue.”

Councillors have also been given an update on the demolition of two nearby annexes where the local authority plans to build new housing as part of a developing masterplan for the Wallasey Town Hall area. Both were built in the 1960s and have been empty since 2019.

Illustration of the area around Wallasey Town Hall in a council masterplan for the area. Credit: Wirral Council

Toxic asbestos has now been removed from the buildings and demolition is expected to start in February 2024. This is also expected to be finished in June with Wirral Council given £2.3m to make way for 149 homes.

The report also said a new Riverside Primary school is expected to be built early to mid 2025 and land in the area will be released for housing in March 2027. The area’s masterplan also contains ideas for a new Guinea Gap leisure centre.

Speaking about the masterplan designs in October, Wirral’s regeneration committee chair Cllr Tony Jones, said, “It was clear when we initially asked people about how they see the future of Seacombe that they want change. Those who took part left no doubt that Seacombe needs targeted investment to address and reverse the years of steady decline.”

Lead image: Ed Barnes

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