House of Fraser to be demolished to make way for new £28m market
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A former House of Fraser building in Birkenhead and town centre car park will be demolished to make way for a new £28m market and 84 new apartments. Wirral Council purchased the land on Grange Road and Argyle Street in December 2020; both schemes are expected to be delivered by 2025.
This comes as the new market plans went out to public consultation in March with the feedback currently under review. A planning application for the new market will be submitted later this year.
The new market will be ‘complete with independent retail, food and beverage stalls and new accessible public realm spaces linked into St Werburgh’s Square and Oliver Street East’ and ‘re-captures the spirit of the historic market so it once again becomes a thriving hub of activity and commerce.’
Details on what the housing scheme will look like have not been confirmed yet as a future developer partner will formalise the plans over the next year but the new flats will be built on the car park site and would be ‘mixed tenure development’.
Big plans: The re-development of the House of Fraser site is part of the council’s plans to completely regenerate the town by 2040. This includes a massive new development proposed near Birkenhead Central station, Wirral Waters, a revamp of the waterfront, new office space, as well as a brand new park along an old railway line.
What’s been said: Chair of Wirral Council’s economy, regeneration and development committee, Cllr Tony Jones, previously said “a key part of our redevelopment plans for Birkenhead town centre has always been the market.” adding the new homes and market “provides the opportunity to increase footfall to the town, supporting traders and local businesses.”
Drop in trade: Birkenhead Market is currently located behind the Pyramids Shopping Centre in the centre of the town and still remains open. However traders said they had seen a huge drop in footfall in recent months, and some said people thought it had already closed.
Buying up the town centre: Recently the local authority bought the Pyramids and Grange Shopping Centres after they were put up for sale as part of these plans. This was funded through council borrowing and the purchase means the council now owns a large chunk of the town’s shopping district.