£20m Birkenhead transformation project gets underway at Woodside

The Levelling Up Fund is set to pay for a new ferry terminal, a green space and an upgrade to the U-Boat Story.

<p>Woodside Ferry terminal and U-Boat Story attraction. Credit: Wirral Council</p>

Woodside Ferry terminal and U-Boat Story attraction. Credit: Wirral Council

A £20 million scheme set to overhaul Birkenhead, with a new ferry terminal, more green space and an upgrade to the U-Boat Story attraction is underway.

The multi-million pound project has started with work to revamp Woodside’s U-Boat Story, turning it into a brand new Battle of the Atlantic centre.

The battle ran from 1939 until the end of World War II and pitted U-Boats against the Royal Navy. Birkenhead’s Cammell Laird played a huge role in Britain’s campaign, building more than 100 warships during the war.

The Woodside plans are part of a raft of huge schemes set to transform Birkenhead. Wirral Council has got £144m in grant funding from the government to support plans including around 1,000 homes at Hind Street, a new site for Birkenhead Market, new food and drink outlets and two top quality office buildings.

At Woodside, the £19.6m pot from the government’s Levelling Up Fund is set to pay for a new ferry terminal and a green space where the bus terminal is at the moment, as well as the upgrade to the U-Boat Story.

This is what the new ferry terminal could look like. Photo: Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

More than 300 homes are set to be built at the Land Registry Building on Rosebrae Court, along with changes to make it easier to walk to Woodside from Hamilton Square. Overall, it is hoped this project will help to bring life back to this part of the town.

Birkenhead’s U-Boat story is based around the historic World War II German submarine U-534, currently in Woodside, one of only four surviving U-Boats out of the more than 1,100 which were built.

It was sunk by RAF bombers in 1945 and raised from the seabed in 1993 before being moved in sections to Wirral’s biggest town.

It formed the centrepiece of the ‘U-Boat Story’ museum until its closure in 2020. Big Heritage, a non-profit organisation which now runs the site, wants to build the Battle of the Atlantic centre to show the boat’s historic importance.

Cllr Tony Jones, chair of Wirral Council’s Economy, Regeneration and Development Committee, said: “Upgrades to the U-Boat attraction at Woodside have the potential to generate catalytic change at Woodside as part of the wider regeneration of Birkenhead.

“This presents a fantastic opportunity for the community to help shape the project and it’s really important that people share their views and memories to ensure that the new museum reflects local stories and experiences.”

You can contribute your ideas to the project at the Placed Engagement website.