A Town Deal for Birkenhead
Birkenhead is among a select group of 101 towns which were invited to bid for up to £25 million to transform neighbourhoods and communities in their area.
The fund is part of the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund programme aimed at towns with a proud industrial heritage, but that have not always typically benefitted from economic growth like more prosperous areas.
Wirral Council submitted its Town Investment Plan to the Government, setting out the business case to secure Town Deal funding, on 29 January 2021.
Following a review of the Plan, on 15 July 2021 the Government offered to enter into a Town Deal agreement with Birkenhead, which will see up to £25m invested into the area.
Town Investment Plan
The Town Investment Plan is the main document which was submitted to the government in support of our Town Deal funding bid. It proposes capital projects which would benefit from the funding and address a number of needs and opportunities within Birkenhead.
The Investment Plan details Birkenhead’s history, its current position and explains how a Town Deal agreement would help us achieve our vision for the town, which is underpinned by the Birkenhead 2040 Framework and supported by other successful funding bids such as Future High Streets Fund. It also outlines the extensive engagement that was undertaken to develop the final Town Investment Plan.
The projects that will be delivered as part of the Town Deal programme are:
- The Transport Shed - which will create a new transport-based heritage visitor attraction for Merseyside, run by National Museums Liverpool. It will ensure a nationally significant collection is on permanent display. The Transport Shed will be located on the new Dock Branch Park
- The Waterfront Animation and Connectivity Project - which will focus investment on our waterfront leisure assets - Eureka! Science + Discovery, Woodside and Birkenhead Priory, as well as public realm improvements to Hamilton Square, to provide a significantly enhanced visitor experience
- Education Engagement Project - which will provide investment and improvements to seven existing buildings to create a new hub and spoke network of service delivery bringing together education, advice, guidance, and specialist services. The facilities will each house different services targeting vocational skill pathways aimed at vulnerable groups. Wirral Metropolitan College will be the lead delivery partner
- Wirral Chamber of Commerce propose to re-purpose part of Egerton House to make it suitable for the incubation and growth of small and medium businesses in the Business, Financial and Professional Services sector, and the growing Digital sector in Birkenhead
- The new 'Wellbeing and Opportunity Hub' will provide a one-site hub for all services provided by award winning charity Open Door, alongside a range of other health and wellbeing services. The hub will serve as a new national Centre of Excellence in how arts and culture can be used to reimagine how mental health is supported and understood
- Start-Yard project - will form a creative biosphere in the centre of Birkenhead’s Cammell Laird waterfront area, and next to Birkenhead Priory. The aim is to provide a modern solution for people in the formative stages of their business development. Start-Yard’s reuses a former industrial garage unit and is owned by Microzine Creative
- Future Yard Music Skills Venue - opened in autumn 2019 as a new re-imagined live music venue with a 350-person capacity. Town Deal funding is required to complete the second and third phase of the project creating an additional 6,800 sq. ft of music sector specific project spaces and skills development infrastructure. The facility is run by Future Yard CIC, a non-profit constituted to utilise music for the social, cultural and economic development of Birkenhead
- The Argyle Street Creative Hub - which will be a transformative, place-based intervention to boost the creative and cultural sector in Birkenhead. The project will involve the acquisition and redevelopment of a vacant property to create a new and improved space for ‘makers’ including creative, cultural and community space, operated by Make CIC. Make CIC is a social enterprise founded in 2012. The organisation’s vision is “to see people turn their passions into prosperity”
- Sustainability Central - which will provide a prominent focal point to co-ordinate activities for the low carbon sector in Birkenhead. Town Deal funding will be combined with private sector funding to refurbish, repurpose and retrofit an existing building and surrounding outdoor space, within the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone. The new space will host activities, coordinate teaching and skills development and encourage collaboration between our sustainability partners
- EXPO Village - provides a three year ‘laboratory’ for testing homes of the future. The project will showcase new innovative methods of building homes and new places for the 21st Century. The long-term legacy use for the EXPO Village site after three years will be new, permanent innovative open market and affordable and social housing
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The Town Deal Board
The Town Deal for Birkenhead is overseen by a locally led board of politicians and representatives from business, education, community and voluntary sectors. You can find out more about the Board below. The Town Deal Board is responsible for agreeing a vision for Birkenhead and developing a plan for how the Town Deal funding might be spent.
It is a requirement of the funding that a Town Deal Board be established. The role of the Board is to identify an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable vision for the town centre, and then develop a clear programme of interventions that will help to achieve the vision. In developing its proposals, the Board consulted with others as well as considering other investment opportunities.
The Board identified a number of projects which became part of an evidenced-based Town Investment Plan.
The Board is not a legal entity, its role is advisory to Wirral Council as the accountable body for the Town Deal.
Have your say
Residents, businesses, local organisations and visitors were invited to share their views on the future of Birkenhead across six thematic areas. The results of the consultation were used to shape the Town Investment Plan which was submitted in January 2021 and successfully secured £25m, subject to further information being provided and approval of the business cases for the individual projects.
Stakeholders and communities of Birkenhead, including its residents and businesses, are invited to comment on the projects that are being developed, prior to the final submission of the business cases to government on 1 April 2022. For more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Register your interest
To be involved in future Birkenhead regeneration consultation events, or a more detailed review of proposals as they are being developed, please register your interest by emailing us at email@example.com
Find out more
Members of the Birkenhead Town Deal Board
|Leigh-Anne Stradeski (Chair of the Board)||Eureka! Science and Discovery|
|Cllr Tony Jones||Wirral Council|
|Cllr Pat Cleary||Wirral Council|
|Cllr Janette Williamson||Wirral Council|
|Richard Mawdsley||Peel Land and Property|
|Mick Whitley||MP for Birkenhead|
|Liam Kelly||Make Hamilton Square CIC|
|Sophie Bevan||Liverpool City Region Combined Authority|
|Paula Basnett||Wirral Chamber of Commerce|
|Sue Higginson||Wirral Metropolitan College|
|Louise Healey||Birkenhead Job Centre Plus|
|Mark Lightburn||Wirral Council|
|Dean Paton||Big Heritage|