The “largest public sector-led regeneration scheme in the country” progressed yesterday (28 February) as a new Wirral joint venture was approved.
During a special meeting Wirral Council’s cabinet agreed to create Wirral Growth Company, which will see the local authority join forces with preferred development partner Muse Developments to transform the borough.
Muse was formally recommended to work with the council by leader, Councillor Phil Davies (pictured) following a 12-month procurement competition and negotiations – a move which was endorsed by the cabinet.
Wirral Growth Company plans to get consultation and engagement with local residents and businesses underway this spring to identify how to develop and drive regeneration at various sites across the borough.
Initial first phase sites are expected to include Bebington, Birkenhead, Bromborough, Moreton and Seacombe, with first ‘spades in the ground’ later in 2018.
Wirral Council is also keen for regeneration to take place in New Ferry following the gas explosion nearly 12 months ago.
Cllr Davies says: “This is the largest public sector-led regeneration scheme in the country – it will deliver thousands of jobs, build new homes and deliver hundreds of millions in new investment.”
Commenting on the commercial viability of the new company, he adds: “Too often local authorities sell land or assets and beyond the initial capital receipts take no benefit from any development that follows, simply standing by watching the profits leave the borough.
“With the deal we are proposing, we will have full involvement in every development decision, we will benefit from the economic growth any regeneration creates and, as a 50-50 joint venture, we will benefit from the profits the development delivers – money the council can reinvest in front line services our residents rely on.”
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has welcomed the progress, saying: “Wirral is an important part of the city region and I welcome an initiative that will help to realise the potential of its assets to deliver important regeneration priorities, creating jobs and opportunities for local people.”