BIRKENHEAD MARKET: Voted to be moved to new town centre site
Birkenhead Market will be moved to a new town centre site after a vote last night.
Wirral Council’s economy and development committee approved a plan to temporarily move the market to St Werburghs Square until a permanent site for the market is built.
The new site will be a ‘hybrid model’, with an indoor market in the shop unit at 2 St Werburghs Square and an outside market on St Werburghs Square itself.
The council acquired the market in December 2018 to protect its long term future.
Going forward the authority wants to put a new market at the centre of Birkenhead’s regeneration under plans being developed alongside the Wirral Growth Company, a 50/50 venture between Wirral Council and urban regenerator Muse Developments.
The aim of last night’s decision was to create a smooth transition for traders while the new market is built.
The scheme is being supported by the Future High Streets Fund, under which £24.6m was awarded to Wirral Council in December after its successful bid to the government for the purpose of transforming Birkenhead.
Previously, Europa Boulevard was being scoped as a temporary market, however financial constraints and concerns from a number of traders that it was too far away from the town centre meant this option was scrapped.
Labour councillor Anita Leech, chair of the economy and regeneration committee, said: “The market is the heart of Birkenhead and should remain so.
“This option will allow traders to remain at the very centre of the town while work is able to move ahead quickly to build a new home for Birkenhead Market and allow it to thrive for many generations to come.”
Birkenhead’s redevelopment will be delivered over several phases throughout the next 15 years.
The first part of the plan is a new commercial district.
This will see two five-storey office buildings developed, with retail and leisure units such as takeaways and drinking outlets to occupy the ground floor, with business office space to be concentrated above.
Later phases include a new Birkenhead Market site, as well as a potential ‘super-crossing’ at Conway Street and a new residential quarter.
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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