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Wirral buys former House of Fraser store

Wirral Council has bought a former House of Fraser store in Birkenhead, as part of its plans to regenerate the town centre.

House of Fraser vacated the building at the end of March last year, which is situated at the entrance to the proposed central business district of Birkenhead, close to the future redevelopment of Milton Pavements and a potential attractive residential build in the nearby Hind Street area.

According to the council, the purchase of the store will not only facilitate the future advancement of the town centre but it will also ensure this sizeable and well-known building will not remain empty in the long-term or will be left open to third-party development which could add little or no value to the community.

Its location will have further significance if the scheme, supported by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, to remove the flyovers which currently act as a barrier between Hind Street and the town centre, is given the go-ahead.

Such a large-scale investment to remove the ‘concrete collar barriers’ in this area will bring increased footfall into the town centre, supporting the new Birkenhead Commercial District and the re-provided market.

‘We have been able to purchase the former House of Fraser building at a significantly reduced cost at a time when we are making serious progress with our plans to regenerate Birkenhead,’ said council leader, Cllr Janette Williamson.

‘Having control over the future of this building, sitting in a strategic position at the gateway to the town centre, combined with our existing portfolio, will mean we are able to move forward with our proposals, without any unforeseen difficulties presenting limitations to what we can do. It gives us options with the landscape and will afford us the opportunity to be both creative and sustainable in our developments.’

The chair of the economy regeneration and development committee, Cllr Anita Leech added: ‘Of course, it is fantastic news that we have secured the £25m Future High Streets Fund money, as this gives us the confidence and means to continue to pursue our exciting and ambitious plans for Birkenhead town centre.

‘We have the opportunity to make significant decisions on how we move forward and we have the wherewithal to determine what needs to be done to shape a sustainable and thriving town centre for those communities who live and work here. Having a degree of control over the build environment means these demanding decisions are in our gift and that will make the difference to us achieving our goals.’

The council said it is aiming to present more detailed plans in early Spring.

Photo Credit – Free-Photos (Pixabay)

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