New market to be at heart of Birkenhead regeneration
Plans for a new and revitalised Birkenhead Market have been revealed today (March 13) as part of the wider regeneration of the town centre.
Wirral Council’s Cabinet will be presented with a range of options on Tuesday, March 24, of which building a new market at the current location is the preferred choice.
Wirral Council leader, Cllr Pat Hackett, said: “This option will stabilise the market quickly while we support traders.
“We want to see the new market rise phoenix-like from the existing site and become a destination people travel from far and wide to visit once again.
“These are the most exciting proposals we have seen for Birkenhead Market in nearly half a century.
“There is no doubt the market has struggled to adapt to the changing high street and how people shop these days, and this new approach will help see Birkenhead Market meet the demands of shoppers in the 21st century.”
He added: “The new market will also play a key role in the wider redevelopment of Birkenhead which is progressing through the Wirral Growth Company, as well as nearby Wirral Waters where work is well under way.”
Alternative options explored by council officers include leaving the market as it is, relocating to the former Marks and Spencer unit in the Pyramids shopping centre, or using the B&M site.
However, to leave the market as it is would mean it remains in an aged structure which is increasingly expensive to maintain and operate and which has suffered from lack of investment over a number of years.
Consultation by Wirral Growth Company with shoppers, residents and traders in Birkenhead on the town centre’s future has reinforced the importance of the market to local people.
Cllr Tony Jones, cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: “We will be working closely with the traders – who know their businesses and customers better than anyone – to ensure we can meet their needs.
“Even during the work to rebuild the market we will work with stall-holders to ensure they can continue to trade, as well as looking to attract new and exciting retailers.
“The new market will be another chapter in the story of this extraordinary institution which has played a role in the lives of many people, not just in Birkenhead, but across Wirral and the wider region.”