Move Ahead

Birkenhead was built to work. Industrious, inventive, inspiring, it’s a town of world firsts and listed buildings. Of parks and poetry, and passionate people. It’s the town that built Liverpool, quarried the stone to clad the Empire State Building, launched the world’s biggest ships.

If ever a town was built on rock solid foundations, it’s Birkenhead. It’s time to recapture that spirit and rekindle the energy and ambition that put Birkenhead on the map. We’re starting a conversation about how we revive and re-imagine the town. It’s about how we make the most of what’s unique and special about Birkenhead, how we nurture the energy and creativity of our people and how we create a vibrant and attractive place to live, invest and do business. Move Ahead Birkenhead starts with a real plan for how we kick start this next chapter – an exciting proposal for a new leisure destination at Europa Boulevard – but this is bigger than a single scheme.

We want to open a conversation about what happens next. It’s a conversation that involves everyone who lives, does business, visits or simply cares about the town. Because we believe it’s high time we learned from our past – and looked to the future.

It’s about: Getting started

There are things missing in Birkenhead Town Centre and Europa Boulevard is an opportunity to provide one of them. Ion Developments have been working with Wirral Council to rethink this area and create a new leisure destination and restaurant offer in the heart of Birkenhead town centre.

By relocating Europa pool and creating a new leisure centre and pool, we can make space for a cluster of family restaurant uses around the Vue Cinema. Creating a vibrant and popular evening leisure destination is something that Birkenhead urgently needs and is the starting point for a much more comprehensive and radical vision to renew and transform Birkenhead.

The new leisure destination and proposed Travelodge Hotel expands the town centre across Europa Boulevard towards Conway Park station, creating a new strategic connection north towards Wirral Waters.

Proposal: Creating a new leisure hub in Birkenhead Town Centre

This is the key opportunity to make a big difference and provide something that’s missing and needed to kick start further investment and regeneration.

What kind of restaurants and supporting leisure attractions should we looking to bring to this site?

What else needs to be done to make this area more attractive to families?

“Birkenhead needs to become a real asset to the Wirral which everyone uses at some time as an alternative draw to Liverpool City Centre”

Steve Parry, Ion Developments Managing Director
(read full interview here)

It’s about: Edge

Birkenhead has something that towns and cities across the world would envy – a waterfront. Waterfronts give places an edge and a recognisable visual identity and signature. They are places where people want to live, visit and gather.

They are a magnet for investment and a catalyst for change and regeneration. At present Birkenhead’s waterfront is disconnected and underwhelming. It’s biggest appeal is as a viewing platform for Liverpool’s iconic waterfront buildings.

An Opportunity: Let’s give Liverpool something to look at

How can we begin to re-imagine Woodside, better connect sites, and realise the potential for major redevelopment?

How can we create a waterfront that is busy, accessible and enjoyed by people and visitors?

What kind of development and what kind of architecture do we want to see at Woodside?

How do we bring the kind of life and visual appeal to the Woodside area that will not only underpin the future of the ferry, but will attract more people to renewed and regenerated Birkenhead?

“I want people to come off the ferry into Woodside Village – a real hub of activity, with great signage and a trail of local businesses and heritage sites to explore”

Frank Gallagher, landlord of Gallagher’s Pub, Woodside
(read full interview here)

It’s about: Heritage

We boast some exceptional and beautiful buildings and spaces, including the country’s first municipal park, an historic Priory and one of the country’s most architecturally impressive public spaces. These assets need to be cherished and their potential fully realised.

History and heritage are not just about the past. They are essential foundations for a future vision. We need to rethink these precious spaces and buildings so they can be celebrated, accessed and enjoyed – becoming the special places that define Birkenhead’s identity and appeal.

An Opportunity: Creating a world-class public space here in Birkenhead

Only Trafalgar Square contains more listed buildings than Hamilton Square. The Square is one of the finest collection of Georgian Buildings in the entire UK.

How can we bring renewed life to the square and better connect it to the rest of the town centre?

What sort of commercial uses can we encourage to make the square a vibrant and people-friendly destination?

How can we use the space more creatively for events and public gatherings?

How do we make Hamilton Square and its surrounding area an exceptional place and attractive space to live?

“It just oozes potential, the sheer beauty of Hamilton Square, the wonderful view over to Liverpool’s skyline”

Jan Knikker, of Rotterdam’s MVRDV Architects
(read full interview here)

It’s about: Character

Successful places understand the value of difference. They build their offer on the things that are original, specific and local – the things that express their character. Once upon a time Birkenhead’s identity was built on things that people knew and recognised – its industry, its buildings and its market.

Birkenhead Market attracted people from across Merseyside, North Wales and beyond. It underpinned the town centre economy and its wider retail offer. Surrounded by successful and established retail centres, Birkenhead needs to recapture a greater share of the local shopping spend, but also attract new and more people to the town.

Rethinking and improving Birkenhead’s retail offer may mean improving access and connections and spotting opportunities for new development, but it also means offering something that no-one else can provide.

An Opportunity: Re-inventing Birkenhead Market

Birkenhead is still one of the region’s most successful markets, but in an age where people are fed up with characterless superstores and identikit high streets, can we offer something more diverse, more interesting and more original?

What can we learn from successful urban markets in the UK and internationally?

How do we exploit the growing appeal of farmer’s and artisan markets to make space for local growers, traders and makers?

How do we support local start-ups and young entrepreneurs to create the new businesses that may be the retail businesses of tomorrow?

“The high street has become the market with its bargain stores. Now the market is about going the extra mile, helping customers learn how to cook and giving them the very best produce”

Nigel Buckmaster, Wards Fishmongers, Birkenhead Market
(read full interview here)

It’s about: People

Places are made by people. One of the biggest drivers for town centre and city centre regeneration has been the growth in urban living. New developments and residential conversions are beginning to happen in Birkenhead, but ultimately we need more people to support the shops, leisure and cultural facilities that make up a vibrant town centre.

It’s not just about providing more houses and apartments, creating attractive and sustainable residential areas means thinking about all the things that make a place desirable and liveable – including shops, cafes and restaurants, schools, good quality and safe public spaces as well as cultural and leisure facilities catering for a wide variety of people.

An Opportunity: Making CH41 the region’s most popular residential post code?

Birkenhead’s excellent transport links and its closeness to Liverpool city centre could make it a very attractive and popular residential area, if we are able to provide the right type of accommodation and the services, amenities and cultural offer that people want.

What kind of housing and apartments do we need to be providing and where should they be located?

How do we learn from other places where too many identical or poorly designed apartments lie empty?

How can we provide the quality and diversity of accommodation that provides for different ages and groups of people making a balanced and inclusive community?

Can we take the opportunity of our proximity to Liverpool to offer people a better quality of life and more affordable places to live?

What do we need to do and create to make Birkenhead Town centre a more attractive and appealing place to live?

“Many successful regeneration schemes had doubters who said it couldn’t be done - but it was the will of the people that made it happen”

Phil Davies, Wirral Council Leader
(read full interview here)

It’s about:Connections

Birkenhead is served by one of the UK’s busiest rail networks. We are connected to tunnels, motorways and ferries and yet people complain that it’s sometimes easier to bypass the town centre than it is to actually access it.

Poor connectivity not only inhibits access to the town centre, but it also makes it difficult to navigate. Our shopping, civic and waterfront areas are disconnected and somehow add up to less than the sum of the parts. Making the most of our assets, increasing vibrancy and attracting more people are all about movement and better connections.

An Opportunity: Better connections for Birkenhead

What are the biggest obstacles and problems to getting around Birkenhead?

Do we need any new transport routes, roads or cycle ways? Are there any roadways or flyovers that need to be redesigned or even removed?

How do we balance the needs of drivers with pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users?

How do we make public transport more accessible, attractive and safer?

“The flyovers in Birkenhead were built to get people to the tunnel entrance but they have created barriers at ground level. We need to take an holistic view to unlock the town’s potential”

Richard Cronin, Austin-Smith:Lord architects
(read full interview here)

It’s about:
Having your say

Don’t miss the opportunity to find out more about the proposals for Birkenhead by visiting our public exhibition. There will be representatives of the developers in attendance to listen to your views and answer any questions you may have, We look forward to seeing you there.

You can also have you say by adding your thoughts to the comments section on this website or by visiting and following our pages on Facebook and Twitter.

Move Ahead Birkenhead
Public Consultation Exhibition

WHERE: The Pyramids Shopping Centre (CH41 2RA) opposite Select and close to the food court.

WHEN: Thursday February 25th (10am-6pm), Friday February 26th (10am-6pm) and Saturday February 27th (10am-5pm)

Download our 12-page Move Ahead
Birkenhead newspaper & questionnaire
Click here to download

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It’s about:
Your views

You can also have your say on the vision for Birkenhead using this
form. Please note all comments will be moderated before appearing
on this website.

Your views

  • andy said (at 6:34 am on February 24, 2016)

    some kind of play area on the waterfront , dont restrict public free access to the waterfront , personally i think the cinema and swimming pool should be moved to the waterfront where it becomes accessable to all from hamilton sq station and is a visible atraction from liverpool (a large family swiming pool only one train stop away and a reason to get off the ferry , liverpool doesnt have one in easy reach)

    more shops and cafes should be moved to the hamilton sq area , tourists dont want to come inland. make more of the trams , make them go to seaforth or even new brighton .


  • J Macklin said (at 8:05 am on February 24, 2016)

    If Europa is being knocked down it would be good to have purpose built badminton courts. If there were to be darker back walls [to enable players to see the shuttle], appropriate flooring [non-slip and easier on the knees] and lighting high up and above the net posts [so as not to be dazzled by distant lights] then it would be the best badminton facility in Wirral and players would be queuing up to play there.

  • Ian Swindlehurst said (at 12:14 pm on February 24, 2016)

    Do it. Do it now. Anything that regenerates Birkenhead is to be welcomed. How Birkenhead does not have river-side hotels with views of one of the world’s most iconic waterfronts is an absolute mystery.

  • Sue Potts said (at 12:14 pm on February 24, 2016)

    I live less than a mile in Birkenhead in Oxton. I would love to see the area revived. I come from South Liverpool and lived for 8 years on Allerton Road. Places like Allerton Road and Lark Lane are missing from the Wirral alongside a vibrant cultural economy. We need small independents to bring a vibrant restaurant and coffee bar scene. However, your Rotterdam comparison has a clear danger of gentrification of the surrounding areas, which are high in deprivation. I only have to walk a short distance from Oxton Village to see that inward investment in leisure activities will not improve the lives of families who live in the post code CH41.

    Moreover, where was your public consultation advertised? I notice it is on Thursday at the Pyramids. The first I’ve heard was via the Seven Street website. Do residents know? Have you leafleted? I haven’t got one. It doesn’t appear to be very ‘public’. More of a random passing. Having led public consultations on regeneration initiatives myself, I would have expected something to come through my door.

  • Christos said (at 12:43 pm on February 24, 2016)

    FANTARCTIC IDEA, WOW. When I heard about the IDEA to EXPAND Birkenhead town center, I thought, (ABOUT TIME)
    Why? : –

  • Rebecca said (at 2:25 pm on February 24, 2016)

    I think this is brilliant Birkenhead is a fantastic place with a lot of history but has very sadly become run down and is a bit like a ghost town some days. I really hope this will bring it back to a thriving town and create lots of fantastic places for shopping entertainment and leisure

  • mr jeffrey wright said (at 3:38 pm on February 24, 2016)

    do,es any no were Birkenhead starts and finishs the reason I ask this question when there is money to spend what about improving new ferry we have waterfront too plus shops aminities all crap is a bundance of second shops Chinese food pizza s .

    nothing has changed in new ferry in 31 years I lived here so about improving new ferry for a change yours

    • andy bibby replied (at 9:25 pm on March 7, 2016)

      totally agree… ferry has been left to rot when its got so much to offer. The esplanade has been left to fall into the sea and plans for a marina shelved when it would be brilliant for the area.

  • Paul said (at 7:44 pm on February 24, 2016)

    Whats needed is something done to the area of Grange road west, low cost run down shops fueled by the night time economy , the market needs a good clean and tidy up as do the local roads,along with better traffic calming and more segregated cycle routes, demolish the flyover at central station and create a new park in the centre of the roundabout and make it a bigger public area,introduce chevron parking spaces in Hamilton square to allow more short term parking, and to stop it being used by commuters, create more seating areas, the list goes on and on.

  • PETER CATON said (at 8:11 pm on February 24, 2016)

    Yes, I am all in favour of ‘a fresh start’ for Birkenhead. While I applaud the dreams and plans already being made, I only have one serious reservation:
    As a life-long resident of Wirral and Birkenhead, I have seen the heart of this community taken out. This is not just because I am an older resident! It has become, over years, like a ghost town with nothing solid and substantial holding it together. See it in the people’s faces; see it in the unused buildings; see it in the crime figures. We are a fragmented community.
    There is much talk of leisure and pleasure in the dreams and plans. However great and successful they may be, they will not put back the heart into Birkenhead.
    I believe there is too much emphasis on Leisure and not enough on Employment.
    I have no fresh ideas to contribute now! And I do not have, at present, the complete answer! Except that we should concentrate more on ‘Social Surgery’: putting the heart back in, instead of plastering over the problem by erecting an attractive set of new buildings. That, I believe, should be the responsibility of the Borough Council. But this consultation has attracted me and I would love to contribute more – unless you already have enough advisors!
    But thank you for this opportunity.

    • Sebastian Bowe replied (at 5:07 pm on February 26, 2016)

      Peter Caton, I agree with all of your comments.
      However investment will bring jobs, short and long term. As you say, there does need to be a focus on employment. But if ‘Move Ahead Birkenhead’ does gain planning permission and the project does move forward, a vast number of employment opportunities will arise.
      Birkenhead’s residents need a town to be proud of, if they are provided with this many of the issues the area faces such as crime and litter will decrease significantly, without any direct ‘Social Surgery’.
      Birkenhead has massive opportunity, its great to even just read of plans being drafted up. There has to be a start if we want to see the area prosper and reach its potential. Hopefully this is the start…
      Look at Liverpool, in the last dozen years the city has transformed through investment. Investment bring more investment, causing growth, expansion, employment and so on. There has to be a start. Hopefully Ion Developments will cause a catalyst.

  • Chris Dewhurst said (at 9:18 pm on February 24, 2016)

    Birkenhead stands holding its’ breath next to the old water’s edge, with the cold pressed stars above. Industry built Hamilton Square as a granite Phoenix. Beauty cannot exist without the worn hands that are need to create it. Plazas, with sacred and banquet lakes in temple lawns can be dreamt of but without the imperial power of a generation secure in their wealth and divinity of purpose, then the monument will become a ruin. Until industry is wielded by new adepts who through the storm come to mastery, how can anything change. It is the changed heart that changes fate. The forge is the economy through which decorative beauty may be wrought. Make some money and you will get every wish granted. And if one begets that money through ones own efforts, then you will be able to wish with wisdom, tutored by hard experience.

  • Mark Hulmston said (at 10:39 pm on February 24, 2016)

    I agree with your vision that Birkenhead needs investment and improvement but what I can’t agree with is knocking down a perfectly ‘New’ pool and build a smaller pool less than 50 metres away. It’s a total waste of tax payers money. The centres only just had an extension built and is only around 20 years old. It’s a popular leisure centre. Surely the restaurants can be built around the current centre. Apart from this one issue I’m totally for the regeneration.

  • Chloe Cool Carr said (at 11:23 pm on February 24, 2016)


  • Amy Mac said (at 12:33 am on February 25, 2016)

    I am a Wirral born and bred resident who is delighted to hear Birkenhead is going to get the attention it deserves and needs to reach its potential. The plan so far sounds very promising, let’s just hope you get it right!
    I work in Liverpool and often hear Birkenhead being called a dump. To be honest, the town isn’t the best first impression for people arriving in Wirral from the Birkenhead tunnel which is a real shame as we have so much to offer!
    I can see Birkenhead’s potential, there are so many beautiful and historic buildings- they need showing off! Despite protests, Liverpool’s devastating plans to demolish some of the lovely buildings on Lime Street (The Futurist in particular) is an example I hope you won’t follow. I recently visited the (Storeton rock clad) Empire State Building where I learnt about their ground-breaking energy efficiency ‘retrofit’ where they have: 1. RESUSED MATERIALS instead of sending them to landfills. 2. SAVED MONEY by not replacing existing systems that still have life in them and 3. REDUCING CARBON EMISSIONS by not manufacturing and transporting new materials. ( We want our heritage preserved, not demolished.
    I am glad to hear that you have enlisted the help of architects from Rotterdam. I visited Rotterdam in 2013 and was surprised by what a creative and vibrant city it has become thanks to (mostly) tasteful architecture where old and new buildings complement each other. I hope Birkenhead will have the same look and feel to it.
    Thanks to chain shops and restaurants, Liverpool One and New Brighton are pretty soulless. My hope for Birkenhead would be that local business thrives- I would like to see lots of world cuisine restaurants and eateries like Bold Street which has had a huge resurgence. And what about a truly independent cinema?? What about bringing back live music events to the fantastic Pacific Road venue? The preservation and increased presence of local business will breathe heart and soul into Birkenhead.
    Good luck and best wishes

  • Patricia burgess said (at 6:06 am on February 25, 2016)

    Get rid of the drunk fueled night clubs bordering Conway Street and Argyle Street. They turn the town center into a ghetto Thursday Friday and Saturday nights. Cheap booze added to licenses till 3am lead to criminal damage,drunken fights and vomit ridden streets. If Europa area is redeveloped it will only be safe to be around there in the day time as it is now. Charring cross is another drunk fueled location. Needs to be cleaned up and restored to former glory when the roundabout used to be there. Too many second hand shops and pawn shops blight Grange Road area. CH41 as it is today is a dirty grimy area. 1970’s Grange Road was a well respected area. What Happened ? Shameful. Traffic congestion at Charring Cross disgraceful. Should be converted to pedestrian only. Hope my opinion means something.

  • Eric Langton said (at 6:54 am on February 25, 2016)

    I was the Echo reporter in Birkenhead 1969 to 73. Visit occasionally. the Woodside ferry/ old lairage area offers most fantastic views of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site, should be a top priority for Birkenhead’s waterfront redevelopment, along with docks. The leisure park proposal is in the right spot, hope it contains the right mix of facilities. Great assets need marketing better, including the town park which seriously influenced the design of New York’s Central Park, and easy/short train connection to the wonderful Lady Lever Art Gallery and Port Sunlight village. If it hasn’t got one now, there should be some form of exhibition about the town’s shipbuilding history – two Ark Royals for example and the nuclear submarine Conqueror which sank the Argentinian Battleship General Belgrano, I was at the sub’s launch. Industrial tourism is getting more popular. Good to see shipbuilding returned.

  • MELANIE MCMAHON said (at 10:57 am on February 25, 2016)

    Hi, I own the Wirral Wedding Centre in Birkenhead Market. Can i ask how this would effect or benefit my business? As no one has contacted the traders to discuss this redevelopment. thanks

  • MELANIE MCMAHON said (at 11:00 am on February 25, 2016)

    can i ask why birkenhead traders are not involved or informed of what is happening? After all, its going to effect our businesses?

  • Chris Band said (at 4:21 pm on February 25, 2016)

    Redevelop Woodside.Restaurants and hotels with that world class view could not fail.
    Reduce the Market size and boost car parking – cars are king and where will we be in 10 years time?
    Reduce the number of shops in the Precinct by 30% and make it more attractive by introducing “continental” open spaces.The opportunities are there but look at the way other tourist cities do it abroad.
    And yes let’s be the next City!

  • Mr. Paatrick Finlay said (at 9:07 pm on February 25, 2016)

    Dear sir/madam,

  • J Burke said (at 9:41 pm on February 25, 2016)

    I am a resident of Birkenhead and have read this feature with great delight, it’s exactly what’s needed for the town. Our once great town has suffered decline, and needs new life. The residents and leaders in the past had vision, we had the first tramway, our friends from over the pond followed our lead from Birkenhead Park, our tradition with shipbuilding continues today, the list could go on, we need to continue this tradition.
    It would be fantastic to see the town vibrant and bringing in new business would secure jobs and prosperity for future generations.
    Well done to you all.

  • Clive S. Adams said (at 9:40 am on February 26, 2016)

    Planned in the 60’s, built to a price in the 70’s.
    Pull it down and start again, make the market more open plan, the Isles are to narrow, ‘THE PRECINCT’ is an outdated American idea of shopping ,which herded people into areas where conglomerates could have a captive audience of shoppers.
    It is a criminal disgrace how the various council planners have allowed Hamilton Square and Oxton Road areas to be come almost ghost towns, within a town. They must have done their training in Liscard!

  • Della Ashton said (at 12:24 pm on February 26, 2016)

    A few hotels and restaurants added to the redevelopment of the Wirral side of the River Mersey would be a great asset, especially with the views across the River at the Pier Head. It would attract more visitors and tourists to the Wirral side, boosting the local economy.

  • Chris Edwards said (at 9:48 pm on February 26, 2016)

    Regarding rebuilding the Europa Pool why not do something radical and incorporate a spa facility which could be put out to tender. This would be a great asset and is fast becoming very popular. It would also generate an income in the form of rent from whoever provided this service, and employment opportunities and work experience for the studrents in the neighbouring Wirral Met College.I have used the spa at Deeside leisure centre in Queensferry and it works well. It would be great if we had this facility in our own town and not have to travel to travel as far as Wales!

  • Keith Davis said (at 2:45 pm on February 27, 2016)

    Born & bred in the Wirral back in the late 50’s and up until the mid seventies, Birkenhead was a thriving area with good social standards along with trust, unfortunately that has changed dramatically having allowed a plethora of bad planning decisions to be put into place and turning over a period of time, a vibrant, cheerful and prosperous area, into a run down ramshackle area, which is now well renowned for squalor, drugs, drunkeness & fighting and is far and well removed from its glory days.
    By proposing new piecemeal regeneration concepts is insufficient in itself and requires a great deal more in focussing on the population of the Wirral residents to bring back quality standards of living in the whole of the Wirral area and not just be seen to demolish a few buildings and put up new replacements in a slightly different location, this will certainly not sort out Birkenhead as its been done before and believe me, there’s nothing more than I, who would relish being able to enjoy the glory days of the past, right here and now in the present. I hope I can be proved wrong!?

  • mag pownall said (at 3:27 pm on February 27, 2016)

    great ideas.
    the waterfront should have a hotel, cafes, restaurants.
    make most use of the ferry service
    the bus services need to be channelled around woodside.

    the market has great stalls but is too big and sprawling.
    surely they can feed their visitors with their great produce.
    the vue needs support around it – why let all the visitors go away.

    hamilton square needs a good hotel – 4 star at least and also decent standard restaurants.
    house of fraser needs competition – surely they would welcome that.

  • J Maskell said (at 5:42 pm on February 27, 2016)

    Three questions. Missed the exhibition as only heard about it after it closed. Don’t know where it was advertised, if it was in free papers, lots of people do not get them. will the exhibition be on again?
    What opportunities are there for local people to get involved in this development, not just consultation after decisions are made but in formulating the strategy and implementation right the way through – real participation? The Liverpool models of community participation and empowerment in regeneration have been very successful in many areas.
    Birkenhead is Wirral’s heart and the strategy needs to be integrated. Hope that education, police, health and social care are also involved.

    Birkenhead once had thriving areas like Oxton Road and Grange Road West that were routes leading into town from Oxton and Prenton. What potential is there for an arts/artisan/craft/antiques focus on these areas? Great potential in Birkenhead Library and The Williamson for that type of area.

  • JohnB said (at 10:31 am on February 28, 2016)

    I certainly wish you all success with this imaginative project.
    I hope that possible interests that run contrary to your vision and perhaps embody a more short-term, brutal, greedy and ultimately destructive approach do not prevail.
    This report is alarming:

  • Fiona martin said (at 11:06 pm on February 28, 2016)

    I moved to Birkenhead from West Londin 2 years ago. My postcode is CH43, which pretends to be Prenton but is really Birkenhead North. As someone coming from outside the area, a couple of things struck me as strange. One was that all the shops in the Pyramids shut at 5:30pm, whereas in Liverpool and other areas, shops are open much later. Even M&S, Boots, Primark & other big name shops shut at 5:30pm, and it is like a ghost town. Also, one expects to go to a town centre in the evening and expect to have resturants, bars, pubs, but there are none. When I finish work at the Queensgate building in Birkenhead at 7pm, not a particularly late hour, waiting at the bus station, its practically deserted. For a night out, I just hop on the train at Birkenhead North and go into Liverpool. This is what we need to stop and give us the leisure facilities on this side of the Mersey to stay here and the buses need to run longer and more often into Birkenhead town centre.
    The other thing I was surprised about was one of the reasons that attracted me to move was the historic Birkenhead Park, but it has no lighting. There is never a mention of it in any publicity without also referring to Central Park New York. One big difference is that Central Park it well lit. I went to a fireworks display and the route was pitch black. If it wasnt for some other people who knew to take torches, we wouldnt have a clue where we were. There has been much recent news about anti social behaviour in the park and dog fouling. Surely eco friedly lighting could be installed around all pathways to make it brighter after sunset to deter anti social behaviour. The reason there is evidence of dog fouling is that, unless you take a torch, you cant see where the dogs have fouled to pick it up. There are also not enough bins in the park to deposit the waste.

    This is seen as a new comer. When I say these things that are strange, the locals say ” but this is Birkenhead not London or Liverpool and it is what it is”. This shows they now see it as normal whereas an outsider can see what needs to change to make Birkenhead a place to attract business investment & make it a place to want to visit & not just pass through en route to Liverpool.
    Fiona Martin

  • John Riley said (at 3:37 pm on February 29, 2016)

    I feel that a ‘fresh start’ will be good for the younger generation and give them something to do, instead of hanging around on the streets causing trouble!

  • Steve said (at 9:31 pm on February 29, 2016)

    Im at a complete loss why anyone would pull down Europa pools… ? In the summer the queues to get in, are for all to see and Birkenhead Council want to pull it down and build a smaller pool.. no waves, no flumes… ? I hear promises of the “New Brighton swimming pool” that didnt happen…
    The regeneration of Birkenhead is a great idea.. you have an attraction.. build on that, don’t pull it down, before the dust has settled you will be regretting it….

  • Curtis said (at 10:08 pm on February 29, 2016)

    I think Birkenhead would benefit if it started appealing to a wider range of audience. Starting with the youth would be wise, considering younger people are willing to spend most of their spare time out with friends- looking for someplace to go.
    I have a few ideas in mind as of now:
    •Ice-Skate Rink/ Roller Rink
    •More restaurants/eating places dotted around to make for easy break points (possibly before heading to the cinema or whatever)
    •A place for people to freely express art/graffiti to prevent it happening in the streets.
    •More clothes shops!

    And that’s everything I have right now, thanks 🙂

  • Debbie Eastwood said (at 1:42 pm on March 3, 2016)

    I am very glad that something is finally been done to improve Birkenhead. There is enormous potential, but right now it is just a place to pass through.

    However, I hope you will also improve the bus station, because right it is a bottleneck. All it needs is for one bus to be parked a few inches out of its space and the other buses back up behind it on both sides. It is just too tight.

    The market is not the most welcoming space and it would be fantastic if somthing like the Rotterdam market was done, although the picture with the solid green is a bit overkill on the green. Although I hope it wouldn’t all end up as student housing.

    There definitely needs to be more of a link with Woodside. It is a shame more isn’t made of there having been a ferry service for almost a 1000 years and it’s link to the priory.

    I hope there would a linkup with Wirral Waters whenever that happens.

    I do hope this happens for Birkenhead and that it will be as exciting as it looks.

    Debbie Eastwood

  • Greg said (at 3:15 pm on March 3, 2016)

    I think its great to start a conversation about potential regeneration but the dialogue needs to be meaningful. A good start would be to engage those that live in the immediate vicinity of the Europa development as it is their neighbourhood and their day to day lives that will be affected.
    I am concerned the wider discussion is designed to distract attention from the contentious proposals to knock down the swimming pool only to (possibly) rebuild it later. It would be interesting to see how the Ion/Neptune development enhances the area
    One quick and simple way to improve prosperity of Birkenhead would be the introduction of free parking

  • gail spencer said (at 3:45 pm on March 5, 2016)

    The designs are like sheds no design initiative or theme, the plots are fragmented instead of joined up.
    you need to work from the water front taking advantage of the Merseyview. Perhaps a revolving tower restaurant where the old woodside hotel was enjoy a meal looking across that famous view full well knowing that every time Liverpool hosts an event most of the punters come over to the wirral to view it. The Market is in the wrong place and so is the bus station creating a high concentration of traffic, which is not healthy. There is no mention of using the old railway line or even a tram theme connecting Hamilton square. who would want to go to a restaurant and look out at a car park? why not something themed. The pump house should have been a hotel, why because its next to a port link the number of drivers sleeping in there cabs when they could be in the comfort of a wifi connected hotel and watch the ships arrive. The shopping complex is land locked by the tunnel roads (not healthy) there needs to be joined up thinking which starts at the waters front and progresses backward or at least towards the proposed wirral waters scheme. The market does not do well on account of how much they charge stall holders and the types of products sold are general tack there should be a food hall perhaps a children’s complex surrounding or in the center.

  • Eddie Leyland said (at 10:53 am on March 6, 2016)

    As a partner and director of Goodmanwells , we have seen the potential in Birkenhead, we have refurbished and brought back to life rundown offices in Hamilton square and made them into residential apartmentments .
    This is all part of our plan to breathe life back into this area , which in truth has far and away the best views to Liverpool , but upto this time has been a poor relation. We aim to change this.

    We are now developing Birchen house and also Dukes court which will house over 100new build and refurbished apartments .
    This in turn will provide jobs for local people and bring back life into the community .
    We have bigger plans for this jewel in the crown .
    Eddie Leyland
    Goodman wells

  • michelle dalton said (at 2:55 pm on March 7, 2016)

    Hi there! Where do I start? Firstly, congratulations on the launch of this fantastic website. Very dynamic and inspiring. Second, as a creative business based in the Wirral I really feel strongly and passionately about this vision that you have and would value an opportunity to share my views and perhaps find out the views of other creatives in the borough as I think creative enterprises are going to play a significant role in the future development of Birkenhead Town. I do know many creatives who would am sure be happy to meet up too so email me for an initial consultation and look forward to hearing from you soon.
    Michelle Dalton

  • andy bibby said (at 9:16 pm on March 7, 2016)

    Well over due, would love to see a good department store, restaurants and leisure facilities in town. It would be great to link up this side of the coastal path too from eastham past the new port sunlight riverside park, past new ferry and rock ferry into woodside so people could cycle, walk, run along this stretch of the coast line.

    Would love to see trees planted along the A41 through brombourgh, new ferry and rock ferry to improve the routes into town. Get really fed up with the ways road works are left for years not finished!! brombourgh pool bridge by port sunlight for example. if that were heswall or hoylake we would have new pavements and landscaped roundabouts …why are we the poor relatives!

    Would also love to see the most made of Hamilton square with Victorian weekend/ antique festivals and vintage events linking the ferry to the square and trams back in use around there.

    Also lets get on with the Wirral waters development and making that area like st marks square in venice it would be such a good attraction. getting really tiered of hearing about redevelopments that never happen!

  • PETER CATON said (at 6:19 pm on March 9, 2016)

    I have already submitted comments and visited the exhibition. I am very impressed. Thank you. But I still have only one reservation. The focus seems to be on providing facilities for leisure, pleasure, eating and drinking for residents and visitors to Birkenhead. This does not address the wider, more important problem of unemployment and deprivation of the whole area. Which will not go away. I feel we will be simply erecting new scenery and new buildings on top of the old existing problems. Like a sticking plaster. Thank you.

    • Rob Dunfey replied (at 11:19 am on May 3, 2016)

      I agree completely. Europa pool, the bus station, market redevelopment, pyramids – all nice a shiny in the 1990’s. Well paid local employment is what’s missing.

  • Steve hayes said (at 1:10 pm on March 10, 2016)

    Very please to see some action may be taken to regenerate Birkenhead but this needs to be careful accomplished. Stakeholders must be consulted and residents need to be onboard.

    The proposed drive thru McDonalds and the excessive number of car parks are an obvious flaw. Birkenhead does not need another McDonalds and needs to be removed from the plans ASAP.

    Public transport needs to be encouraged not more cars otherwise we will end up to something similar to an out of town retail park which would certainly not get my vote.

  • Janitha Redmond said (at 7:18 pm on March 14, 2016)

    The focus should be on Woodside and Hamilton Square-this is the most distinctive part of town-take advantage of the riverside location, world class view to the Liverpool skyline and the dockside heritage. There already are good public transport links-Hamilton Square station and Woodside ferry terminal (which the area cannot afford to lose). The tramway should also be expanded-its already a great asset but could it be routed to take in Hamilton Square and Europa Boulevard?

    From a tourism perspective the area needs to become more inviting with better signage and visual cues to encourage visitors to explore-I wonder how many who don’t already know about Hamilton Square and the Priory actually find them as it’s really not that obvious. Those who do find Hamilton Square are probably disappointed that there’s nowhere to eat or grab a coffee with a view over the Square.

    The promenade between Woodside and the Priory could be amazing with some investment-all it really needs is better quality lighting and a low maintenance landscaping scheme which doesn’t crowd out the view. You might want to explore if this section of the promenade could be badged as part of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route (St James Way) which is known to run from Chester. It therefore would make sense that the Priory (St Mary and St James to give its full title) could have been a stop off for pilgrims travelling to and from the north of England and Ireland. If this can be proved why not approach Shell (their oil terminal is within sight) to see if they could be persuaded to invest in some improvements to the promenade-after all their logo is similar to the shell used to signpost the Camino and could be embedded into the public realm. The promenade also forms part of the Wirral circular trail which seems to be ever more popular with cyclists from the Wirral and further afield so its already well used even if it does look unloved. It needs some high quality public realm, like Hoylake.

    An easy win with a big impact would be better strategic lighting-I’m thinking particularly of the tunnel ventilation shafts which could look spectacular.

    What has happened to the Pacific Road music venue? Its hard to believe someone can’t be found to run a commercially viable venue given the public transport links so this should be challenged. If people come to The Swinging Arm and Hotel California from far and wide, why not Pacific Road?

    However, you are right it’s definitely not just about tourism and leisure-crucial will be more jobs and a wider range of housing in the area. During the working week Woodside & Hamilton Square are quite busy but it’s very, very quiet at weekends. It needs more people working there and a diversification of the housing offer. The new Magenta Living office has made a big impact on the area so the Council should complement this by committing to keep and preferably bring more public sector jobs in and around Hamilton Square if the private sector is to be persuaded to follow. The Town Hall should be reinstated as a vital hub for services attracting residents back to Hamilton Square and not just be a museum piece. You could see Hamilton Square becoming an attractive & vibrant place for new small businessess with entrepreneurs living ‘above the shop’, cafes and restaurants. Whatever happens, it needs to be high quality.

    There are regular events on the Mersey which attracts a diverse range of people-the Mersey Swim, angling competitions, famous cruise liners, fireworks displays but crowds just melt away as there’s nothing much to capture their spending power. The offer isn’t good enough at the moment although there are some real gems.

    Regarding housing, there already is a lot of (possibly too much) social housing in the area but a real lack of family housing for owner occupiers and this mix needs to be addressed. If there are to be more apartments they need to be large and not just bedsit crashpads. The key site for a high quality scheme is Rosebrae given its setting-I wonder if the bus layover site could also be used for housing?

    As a sometimes pedestrian, sometimes cyclist, sometimes public transport user and sometimes car driver I have no particular axe to grind but I can see that if Birkenhead is to have ANY chance of attracting back people from outside of town then it will need free car parking. It will take something drastic like this to really encourage people back-just look at New Brighton where all car parking is free. I think its too easy to underestimate the impact of car parking charges on places like Birkenhead. I think this is critical to future prosperity of the town and needs to be hand in glove with other transport options.

    Have you considered making Birkenhead town centre into an outlet village, like Cheshire Oaks but right in town. Birkenhead might not be able to compete with Liverpool city centre but it can compete successfully with Ellesmere Port and I’d argue could draw shoppers from Liverpool who currently have to drive to Cheshire Oaks for a bargain. This would complement any proposals for Europa Boulevard. The town centre is also completely flat, an attractive factor for anyone with difficulty getting around.

    Market Street as the name implies was where the market was originally situated-could this happen again? Or could Market Street reinvent itself with specialist shops-there already seems to be a small cluster of antiques shops/vintage developing there and at Woodside.

    One final observation-the ‘overflow’ carpark at Woodside ferry terminal is regularly closed even when the car park at the front is full so there’s nowhere for car drivers to go. Is it any wonder Woodside Ferry is in Merseytravel’s sights for closure.

  • Martin Hesketh said (at 5:40 pm on March 16, 2016)

    The overall plan is well intentioned, but too ambitious. I suggest that a ‘core’ objective should be established from which further and future developments could be generated. I believe that Birkenhead could secure a good future if the transport (bus, rail and pedestrain) links within the central area (Shopping Centre – Hamilton Square – Woodside and The Europa Boulevard were re-organized in such a way that people could move freely and pleasurably on foot between one area and the others. Birkenhead Central, Conway Park and Hamilton Square Merseysrail stations together with the Central bus station should be better linked by pedestrian ways and metrolink buses (such as those in Manchester) so as to allow the easy and direct flows of people within the Central area. Once the movement of people is sorted out the rest should follow.

  • Geoff Brandt said (at 3:38 am on March 19, 2016) Can we achieve lots of shared space like like this town? Given that there are two train stations and a bus station within easy walking distance of the Europa pools redevelopment area the cover picture seems to show far too much car parking. To reduce pollution and create attractive spaces I presume car usage will be restricted in favour of walking and cycling. Will secure cycle parking be included or increased at the two stations? Will more Park and Ride be introduced in Wirral to reduce the need to drive to the new leisure area?

  • miss kathleen sui ling tung said (at 3:36 pm on March 27, 2016)

    i have lived all my years and why the sudden changes to the whole Birkenhead and what going to happen to my flat that is important okay

  • janice hodkinson said (at 10:46 am on May 2, 2016)

    All sounds fantastic. I have lived in Birkenhead since 1988. Despite it’s many problems I do love it, there are some truly unsavoury people but equally lots of lovely ones who deserve a great town. We need jobs and affordable housing particularly a good standard of rental for those who cant afford to buy. No rip off scumbag landlords with understandard properties. The kids need to be focussed towards achievement and helped towards that. So this cannot just be about leisure and shopping. It is deeper than that. I wish you luck. Although on a purely personal basis, as someone who uses Europa pools and cant drive so cant get to other council centres easily….. I will be pretty angry if Europa gets demolished before it’s new version is built. Birkenhead needs that centre badly. A lot of residents use it and lots of us have to use public transport. Do not rob us of it and replace it with a McDonalds.

  • Rob Dunfey said (at 11:13 am on May 3, 2016)

    Never mind construction. Birkenhead needs well paid jobs. Little Frank Field has done to address in his 37 years as MP 🙁

  • Shirley Gartland said (at 12:07 pm on May 10, 2016)

    Only Trafalgar Square contains more listed buildings than Hamilton Square. The Square is one of the finest collection of Georgian Buildings in the entire UK.

    So why do we as a business have to put up with a line of green wheelie bins outside our doorsteps and tenants that hang their washing on their windows to dry? This is not helping us as a business. Wirral Borough Council has let us down by allowing our beautiful Grade A conservation area to be spoiled by satellite dishes, wheelie bins and laundry in windows and on balconies. We are ashamed to bring clients to our office now that the two premises next door to us have been converted into 10 flats. We are at number 14 Hamilton Square and have been here since 2002 when it was a thriving business area. Now its just a struggle and we have to pay towards the Birkenhead Business Improvement District levy. Why when we can get no support?

  • Not Impressed said (at 3:13 pm on May 26, 2016)

    Europa Pools is not being relocated as the replacement pool will only be a shadow of its former, again this is just like what happened in New Brighton where we were promised a gym and lido / outdoor pool and ended up with neither just a very expensive kids club!

    Will the replacement pool be a full 25 metre 6 lane competition pool with 2m deep end and a movable floor in the shallow end going from 1.2m to 2m?

    Will there be a leisure pool with wave machine, 2 flumes, water features – sprays, jets, bubble pool?

    I have been informed that the proposed new pool is only going to be of shallow depth – hence useless for the swimming clubs and there will not be a second leisure pool.

    Finally the new complex will not be run by Wirral Council and hence not be part of the Invigor8 scheme – why should we have to pay again to use an inferior set of facilities?

    Again the development will be based on consumption, consumption and more consumption.

  • Andrew said (at 6:37 pm on May 26, 2016)

    From an economic standpoint we need new businesses to want to incest in the area, which means creating interest here first or else risk building be commercial properties which may then may empty.

    Socially the town is disjointed with its social areas separated and mixed up.
    New daytime and evening social sectors could be established with nightlife moving towards the waterfront and argyle street (where it is currently most focused).
    And reinvention of the current town centre (even just cosmetic) is much needed to alleviate the drab and undesirable effect shopping in Birkenhead has.

    Birkenhead’s famous tramway should be reinstated to ruin from Woodside through Birkenhead town centre to Birkenhead park. The team would double add both a valuable transportation service and a tour of Birkenhead for newcomers.

    The cinema and swimming pool should certainly be redesigned and possibly relocated.
    Division of activities into various quarters such as: nightlife, retail, fitness, social and education would create a better definition within the town.

    Europe pools is a favourite with children from all over Wirral and must not lose its sense of fun, i.e. waterslides, wave pool etc.
    Of anything it should be made to be more fun and a draw to people from a wider area rather than become a building solely for adult fitness.

    As mentioned in the report, Birkenhead had a lot of heritage buildings which should be maintained and improved upon, be it for residential purposes or commercial/entertainment.

    Correct usage of the docklands is of great importance and has the potential to create one of the most desirable city centre imaginable and write possible even a tourist attraction.

    I hope the redevelopment does the town favours and doesn’t kill the town off like previous redevelopments have done, out town planning office from days gone by have a lot to answer for, and their modern counterparts have a lot to make up for.

  • Nick Barber said (at 12:27 am on June 17, 2016)

    An Arts venue , with sensible late night events , oh sorry forgot there used to be one , Pacific Rd , but the council closed it and gave the building to the Chamber of commerce .Also talk of improving Hamilton Square , hasn’t that been tried once before with it being branded as the Hamilton Quarter .

  • Norma ovens said (at 9:32 pm on July 1, 2016)

    Check letchworth garden city. They have an amazing leisure area that could be located in the redevelopment, or the park. Basically, it’s a large grassed picnic/play area with a very shallow ,ribbon shaped area of water and small fountains for children to play safely in summer. In winter it could provide an outdoor skating area.its all free to use.a fabulous place. Every town could have the same concept.

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  • Phil Radford said (at 12:55 am on July 13, 2016)

    The disused rail corridor from Green Lane and Cammell Laird which runs behind the Rock Retail Park and on through the town centre, branching originally to Woodside Station but now cutting through the town centre under Argyle Street and emerging beside the docks alongside Four Bridges, is a corridor of land neglected for decades and ripe for leisure and ecological use.

  • jim said (at 6:40 am on July 13, 2016)

    hi,as to traffic,many roads are being used as race tracks esp hinderton road by central st,here they speed down the road we have had numerous accidents only the other day a car spun off on the bend,still nothing has been done and whats been proposed are no good and in the wrong place,cameras and speed bumps would slow them down many thanks jim

  • Gail said (at 8:55 am on July 13, 2016)

    We need this regeneration as I feel we are Luverpools poor cousin!! We need our market back to its former glory it’s a shame that it’s so isolated in there now!! Maybe do a Christmas market like Liverpool and Chester do! Taking down Europa and the cinema is a great idea and start again with a bigger and better sports facilities squash/badminton courts modern gym and pool and a space for dance. Yoga or Zumba classes put something for the kids like trampoline park and put in a high tech cinema and lots of eating places a bowling alley would be good to!! Woodside needs to play on its heritage bring the teams back!!! We also need a nightlife here alit of people go to Liverpool to play at weekends so let’s make Birkenhead the start of their weekend like it used to be!!!!

  • Pamela Buckle said (at 9:48 am on July 13, 2016)

    There is one main problem about Birkenhead, paying for parking, you look at where all the new shops, cinemas and activities are, all around free parking !!

  • Brian Caraher said (at 12:16 pm on July 13, 2016)

    The Birkenhead waterfront is so under utilised. There were plans many years ago for a large hotel at Woodside. We need this area to become a destination again. Hotels, restaurants, cafe’s. Bring buses back to Woodside to service these new businesses. Make more of the ferry links. Extend the tramway from Woodside to Birkenhead town centre as originally planned and extend it towards Seacombe. Our waterfront is second to none for it’s views of Liverpool. Use it to attract more visitors to the area and make it easier for them to get deeper into the town.

  • Ann Spears said (at 8:52 pm on July 13, 2016)

    There is an opportunity here to offer alternative cultural venues to rival Liverpool. A focus on delivering cultural education with an emphasis on Arts Spaces with galleries and workshops to enable Artists and makers to have a presence in Birkenhead would be enormously beneficial. Creative Hubs for Art Music and Drama could be developed to support and enrich the offer for schools and the public. Events and Arts festivals to breathe life back into the town centre could be established by a community hub of creatives. Leisure facilities and restaurants all well and good but we need a feast for the soul too.

  • Stuart Brady said (at 9:33 pm on August 21, 2016)

    Birkenhead is my place of birth. I love it! I want it to become a place where I can take my children to enjoy a meal, a coffee, a film, and have a good shop in high quality shops…not charity shops.

    It has become a second/third/forth best behind Liverpool One’s great choice of shops and department stores.

    It needs to be trendy to shop in Birkenhead again.

    Take Birkenhead Market, for example, what stalls do you have around the edges? Tat. Cheap quality options. Why would I want to go any further inside? I wouldn’t.

    Of course, there is a place for the cheap shops and charity shops, but it can’t feel like it is the majority.

    There is still a clear disconnect between areas of town. He wonder that is Hamilton Square, if cut off from the shopping and leisure centres, as is Woodside. Give people a reason to cross a double carriageway. You don’t think twice about crossing between Liverpool One and the Albert Dock.

    Stop/restrict OAPs having access to the free tunnel buses and ensure they have to stop at Birkenhead. It is too easy to by-pass our town centre. If they want to go to Liverpool the only allow the ferry to be used. They can then use all services on the other side. This will them help Woodside Ferry ( coffee shop / concessions) and help Birkenhead footfall. Yes, I realise this is a Merseytravel issue and highly political, but the council and Merseytravel will do better if they have two big shopping centre’s within the region. It could be on a trial.

    How does Birkenhead Park fit into the plan? The first municipal park in UK. More people need to use the park for leisure and tourism. Lunchtime chillout. There are no facilities at the top end of the park (Cole Street area) and Grange Road West area down in the dumps, too. Is it possible to have a tramway from Woodside to town to B’head Park? Extend the Pacific road route.

    Has there been though about a play area in town, similar to Cheshire Oaks? Coffee shops around the outside or vendors.

    Great to have leisure facilities improved and good to see it move towards Hamilton Sq, it may help make people use the square.

  • Paul millward said (at 7:43 am on August 22, 2016)

    Hamilton square should be the focal point. I’ve travelled a lot and in other countries the square or plaza is the place where families congregate in the evenings. The kids play there are stalls sometimes and it is a safe friendly atmosphere. We need to move the drug and alcohol places for a start and then improve security. We need to lower business rates And encourage family restaurants to come to the square.

  • Pauline said (at 12:00 pm on August 22, 2016)

    Please ensure that any major developments have wheelchair access and a full changing places facility included. We can spend the day at New Brighton, Chester Zoo and Liverpool One. But not in Birkenhead. There is also a shortage of adapted housing in Wirral in general, so could a proportion of residential development be allocated to adapted accommodation.

  • steve travis said (at 12:20 pm on August 22, 2016)

    We should concentrate completely on making the Woodside area a destination for tourists getting off the Ferry. Frank Gallagher of Galaghers Pub has it nailed on.
    Forget trying to do anything regards the Grange Road shops, the Retail world has moved on. What the Town needs is to use its unique selling point which is the Ferry, Lairds, the Docks and Hamilton Square.
    As a destination for an evening out the Town died years ago but helping to breathe life into the Woodside and Hamilton Square area with nice bars and restaurants would be fantastic and a draw for tourists the world over to walk around. See the Priory, see the Square, have a coffee or a drink or a bite to eat. Drag the place into the 21st Century. Oh, and keep the shuffling, snivelling, scumbag, smackhead and beertanks out of the area while we are at it!

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