Regeneration plans for Birkenhead have been given a further boost today with a £25m grant from the Government.
The award has been announced as part of the Town Deal scheme and will support a number of major capital projects across Birkenhead. With a focus on skills and enterprise infrastructure, culture and improved public realm, the plans build on Birkenhead’s heritage, its unparalleled position on the River Mersey and a commitment to innovate.
The grant will help deliver projects that support business and entrepreneurship to drive economic growth and job creation, and create a positive impact by supporting the development of necessary skills. Sustainability will be a key focus of all the projects, with clean growth principles guiding future project development.
Part of the fund will be spent on initiatives along the waterfront to enhance its potential for residents and visitors and improve access by providing a much-improved link to the town centre through historic Hamilton Square.
Birkenhead is one of only 101 towns invited to apply for funding last year. Wirral Council submitted a detailed £45m Town Investment Plan outlining plans to transform the town through a series of projects.
The projects put forward in the plan were shaped through the Town Deal Board which represented people who live and work in Birkenhead, and through extensive consultation with residents and businesses. The members of the Board include MPs, councillors, representatives of local businesses and voluntary and community groups. More information about the projects that will be supported by the Town Deal will follow over the coming months.
Over £50m has now been secured towards major regeneration projects in Birkenhead in the last seven months. The £25m announced today follows £24.6m which was awarded through the Government’s Future High Streets fund at the end of last year to support the transformation of the town centre, £8.3m awarded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to support the removal of the flyovers into the town and a further £1m for Town Deal accelerator funds to help bring forward projects, particularly in the Argyle Street area. The funding awarded to date will enable Wirral Council to attract further investment from the public and private sector for its regeneration plans.
Director of Regeneration and Place at Wirral Council, Alan Evans commented:
“This latest funding decision reinforces the confidence in our plans and will allow us to progress some extraordinary projects that will finally see Birkenhead meeting its potential as an exciting place to live, work and spend your free time.
“We’re grateful to the Town Deal Board who worked together to develop an ambitious and compelling bid that has now had the seal of approval from Government.
“With the recent positive responses we’ve had around the 20-year vision for the town through the Birkenhead 2040 Framework, work set to start on the Central Business District in the town centre through the Wirral Growth Company and the difference we’re already seeing through new and existing creative organisations which we’ve supported, there’s a serious momentum behind bringing change to Birkenhead. The scale of these plans is unprecedented in the country right now and will not only bring huge transformation through buildings, infrastructure and public spaces, but also real improvements to the lives of our residents and businesses.”
Chair of the Town Deal Board and CEO of Eureka! Science + Discovery which is due to open in Seacombe next year, Leigh-Anne Stradeski added:
“On behalf of the Town Deal Board, we are delighted with today’s announcement. The Board worked hard to engage with local people and put forward a plan that reflected the changes they wanted to see in their town and drive forward a prosperous future for Birkenhead, so to receive this grant is a fantastic endorsement. We are now eager to embark on delivering the projects that will open up a new, exciting chapter for Birkenhead and create a positive impact for the town’s communities.”