Wirral Council has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award recognising its massive programme for regenerating Birkenhead.
“The Future is Birkenhead” outlines the vast programme for regeneration across Wirral’s Left Bank area and is now among those vying for the LGC Awards 2022 after being shortlisted in the Economic Support category.
According to the LGC, 2022 saw a record number of entries across all categories and to be shortlisted at this point “is an outstanding achievement.”
Cllr Tony Jones, chair of Wirral Council’s Economy, Regeneration and Development Committee, said, “Wirral has a once in a lifetime opportunity in its economic history for truly positive change which will deliver for the people of the borough and help Birkenhead become a thriving urban community on the Mersey’s Left Bank.
“This nomination reflects the incredibly hard work by the Council’s Regeneration Service which has worked – and continues to do so – non-stop with businesses, local and national government, residents and all those with a stake in the borough’s future to develop and steer a programme of recovery, growth and investment of a scale, pace and significance not seen for generations.”
The Council worked with partners during lockdown in 2021 to develop and bring forward the Birkenhead 2040 Framework and also the successful Town Investment Plan. These documents set out an ambitious and hopeful future for the town.
The vision for Birkenhead in 2040 was developed with direct input from the community – residents, businesses and partners using innovative online engagement and the 2040 Framework reflects the values and aims they brought forward.
In recent years the Council has secured £100m+ of public funding from highly competitive government programmes including Future High Streets, Town Deal and Levelling Up Fund to help the authority in delivering a vibrant, mixed-use town centre, including a new market and homes, infrastructure, training and skills development as well as support for key heritage assets supporting our visitor economy and the emerging creative sector.
Projects range from the current construction on Phase 1 Birkenhead Commercial District, delivering 150,000 sqft of Grade A offices in a vibrant new, mixed-use commercial quarter securing a £75m landmark deal with Canada Life Asset Management to work on the Dock Branch Park, using a disused rail line to create an iconic linear park, with arts, culture and heritage embedded within it including a new Transport Museum and delivering 1,000 new homes on sites alongside the park.
Construction is well advanced on £12m Eureka! Science & Discovery world-class visitor attraction opening in Autumn 2022, attracting c.190,000 new visitors as the UK hub of science and discovery for young people while nearby the £4.5bn, 30-year Wirral Waters development is one of the largest private-sector regeneration projects in the UK and is transforming former dockland.
At Wirral Waters the work ranges from the recently opened Hythe office development to Urban Splash homes, to development of the Maritime Knowledge Hub in the Grade II-listed 19th century hydraulic tower building, which was built based on the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
Other developments range from the Start Yard business hub aimed at start-up and young businesses to attracting national attention for the Left Bank’s emerging creative economy, including The Future Yard music venue and co-working space and incubator for musicians and entrepreneurs in the creative and performance industries.
Alan Evans, Wirral Council’s Director of Regeneration and Place, said, “Our plans are ambitious but also realistic and use local skills, bring together local communities and businesses in a truly integrated programme with regeneration firmly at its heart. We are making this our Decade of Delivery for the people of Wirral – now and for future generations.”
The LGC Awards 2022 take place on Wednesday 20 July.