Partners celebrate ‘topping out’ of catalytic £130m residential development at Wirral Waters

Published: 9 June 2023

Miller’s Quay, Peel L&P’s cornerstone residential scheme at Wirral Waters, has reached a special milestone in its construction of 500 highly sustainable one- and two-bedroom waterfront apartments.

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Wirral Waters’ developer, Peel L&P, was joined today (Thursday 8th June) by its funding partner, Pension Insurance Corporation plc (“PIC”), construction firm GRAHAM, Homes England, Wirral Council, and staff and students from Wirral Met College, to celebrate the ‘topping out’ of what is the single biggest development to date at the UK’s largest and most sustainable regeneration project.

The topping out ceremony marks reaching the highest point in the construction of the transformational residential development.

In addition to its high levels of sustainability, Miller’s Quay is also delivering significant social value with 100 affordable new homes included and a wide range of unique learning and employment opportunities for the local community.

Peel L&P’s partners on Miller’s Quay, including Wirral Met College, construction firm GRAHAM and Peel L&P’s funding partner PIC, have all joined forces to use their expertise and specialist knowledge to create cutting edge opportunities for the local community and improve employment prospects for local students.

Since construction began last July, 319 students from Wirral Met College have already benefitted from the ‘live’ classroom on its doorstep where students are taking part in a number of activities and learning a wide range of skills.

By collaborating with the employers involved within the wider Wirral Waters regeneration project, Wirral Met College has been able to review its curriculum to ensure its provision is directly aligned to the needs and demands across the modern construction industry.

Students are also benefitting from work experience opportunities through the construction of Miller’s Quay, providing genuine insight of how the industry works and the level of interaction which takes place between trades within a major scale regeneration project.

 

Richard Mawdsley, Director of Development for Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters, said: “We have reached an exciting milestone with the topping out of Miller’s Quay. This has been a fantastic day to reflect on everything that has been achieved so far and to celebrate the significant social impact this project is already having on the local community, thanks to the strong partnership that has been created by Peel L&P, GRAHAM, PIC and Wirral Met College.

“I have been really proud and humbled to see the students engaged in learning on site over the last ten months and knowing that they are learning about modern and green methods of construction for these energy and resource efficient new homes, is incredibly reassuring in our ambition to create the construction workforce of the future.”

James Agar, Head of Long Income at Pension Insurance Corporation, said: “We’re delighted by the progress at Miller’s Quay. The development has been a model for how long-term investors can play a major role in the levelling up agenda. The site will provide much-needed housing for the Wirral and offers secure long-term cashflows to back the pensions of our 300,000 policyholders, many of whom live in the North West. We hope that the regeneration lease structure used to finance Miller’s Quay can be adapted across a range of sectors and projects, on behalf of Local Authorities, Housing Associations, Universities, and other organisations looking to unlock funding for regeneration schemes around the country.”

Sue Higginson, Principal of Wirral Met College, said: “The opportunities which have already been created through the development of Miller’s Quay have been life changing for our young people. The synergy that has been created by our partnership with GRAHAM, and other employers, is benefitting all parties as more students want to enrol at the college, employers have access to skilled apprentices with extensive work experience, and the construction industry is boosted with skilled young people with bespoke skills which are in short supply across the industry.”

Peter Reavey, Regional Director of GRAHAM, said: “We are delighted to mark this significant milestone in the construction of the Miller’s Quay development. There has been a considerable amount of work carried out by the entire project team to reach this stage of construction. GRAHAM and our supply chain remain focused on the delivery of this high-profile development for Peel L&P, PIC and Wirral Council.”

Leader of Wirral Council, Cllr Paul Stuart, said: “Millers Quay is an important part of Wirral’s wider regeneration ambitions which stretch from Bromborough through Birkenhead and Wirral Waters, Seacombe and Liscard to New Brighton and shows the how we are delivering on our brownfield first approach to boosting the borough and providing homes, jobs and prosperity. We demonstrate that Wirral can be the best place to start and grow our families and businesses.”

Cllr Tony Jones, chair of Wirral Council’s Economy, Regeneration and Housing Committee, said: “This development represents a significant milestone in the development of Wirral Waters, and the emphasis on working with local students shows how regeneration can make a real difference to people’s lives and offer opportunities to the young people of Wirral.”

Main image pictured L-R: Ella Tsui-Lau, Assistant Principal at Wirral Met College; Peter Reavey, Regional Director of GRAHAM; Cllr Paul Stuart, Leader of Wirral Council; James Whittaker, Executive Director for Development at Peel L&P; Max Cawthorn, Head of PIC Capital Strategy;  Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region; and Catherine Holmes, Head of Cities and Major Conurbations at Homes England.

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