Wirral Waters will see the start of a significant building drive this year. Over the next three years over £200m is expected to be invested across a range of exciting and innovative projects.
This follows years of intense activity behind the scenes to ready the site for a range of projects that will create jobs, training and housing over coming years.
The ambition ultimately is the creation of 20,000 permanent jobs for the region.
During the past five years, we have been undertaking a lot of activity behind the scenes. We have carried out millions of pounds of remediation of the sites, demolishing over 20 acres of derelict buildings, installing new energy infrastructure and drainage, and improving the environment with over 1,500 newly-planted trees.
Due to its Enterprise Zone designation, we have also set up a new development fund with Wirral Council worth £48m to underpin work on the 500-acre site.
The site is the biggest regeneration project in the UK and received the largest planning permission in Great Britain in 2012.
While detailed planning consent and funding arrangements for some individual schemes still need finalising, we are confident about delivery and we are very excited about this next phase of the development.
Among the first improvements, Wirral residents will see is better traffic flow on Tower Road and Dock Road through new public realm work.
Tower Road is also the site for a spectacular new office scheme, No1 Tower Rd South, which will provide Grade ’A’ quality office space, aimed at the SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) market to encourage Birkenhead’s entrepreneurial sector.
This, alongside The Contact Company‘s office building, developed by Longmeadow Estates, will start to create a commercial cluster along Tower Road.
No 1 Tower Road South is to be located next to the award-winning Wirral Met College Construction faculty.
A £20m Maritime Knowledge Hub, dubbed a ‘University of the Sea’, is set to open in 2020 in a collaboration between Mersey Maritime business organisation, Liverpool John Moores University, Wirral Council and ourselves.
And a ‘Skills Factory’, a Module Development Centre and housing projects are also in the mix.
The scheme is supported by a robust funding model including the transformational Wirral Waters Investment Fund which is in partnership with Wirral Council.
This and other funding support including devolved funding through the Single Investment Fund enables us to attract significantly more financial support from the private sector.
Richard Mawdsley, director of development at Peel is poised for a busy period of development after a number of years of continuous preparation: “The Wirral Waters team has been securing Government support, addressing the hurdles to delivery including infrastructure, remediation and market failure – and creating solutions. The area needs investment both from the private sector and from central Government. The project is in a great place and we expect a lot of progress now over the coming months,” he said.
The scheme is supported by a robust funding model including the transformational Wirral Waters Investment Fund, in partnership with Wirral Council.
This, and other funding support including devolved funding through the Single Investment Fund enables the projects to attract significantly more private sector financial support.
Mr Mawdsley insisted: “It is happening, and we are into the delivery phases.”
He said the area will begin to see the culmination of the past five years’ preparations and investment by Peel with a step change in the number of new schemes set to commence.
The Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, is supportive of the project and excited about this coming phase of delivery. “Given our focus on skills, training, jobs and housing we are very excited about the Wirral Water project and we look forward to seeing real progress in 2018,” he said.
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