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Government gives Wirral regeneration plan the go-ahead

Wirral Council is forging ahead with its ambitious regeneration plans after being given the green light to take part in a new project giving greater freedom in using grants.

Earlier this year the council had been offered the chance to join a pilot programme which gives more flexibility in how Government funding is used for regeneration projects.

However, before this could go ahead an Investment Plan had to be submitted for approval by Government experts.

The Investment Plan outlines how the authority would combine the grants from Future High Streets Fund (FHSF), Town Deals and Levelling Up Fund, totalling more than £70 million, and give the Government information on how this total funding pot will be used. This project is known as the Simplification Pathfinder pilot programme.

Now Wirral’s Investment Plan has been approved by the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). It indicates how Wirral Council aims to maximise the regeneration benefits of these grants while giving the authority greater freedom to control how it uses the funds, for example, to adapt to changes in circumstances.

Leader of Wirral Council, Cllr Paul Stuart, said:

“This is fantastic news and demonstrates that Wirral is on the right track with our delivery of a genuinely transformative regeneration programme.

“It is also good to see that DLUHC has recognised the hard work, skill, and expertise of our council regen team working on these projects, and as a result, have given us greater freedom to make decisions locally on the best use of these grants.

“Work is already progressing in so many areas, from the Birkenhead Commercial District and Wirral Waters, and there will be even more spades in the ground throughout 2024 as more schemes move ahead at pace.

“I do not doubt that the coming years will see the face of Wirral changing dramatically for the better, and regeneration which delivers for communities, bringing greater opportunity for our residents and businesses, making Wirral an even better place to live, work and raise their families.”

Consultation on a number of masterplans has recently closed and work is now taking place to move them to the next stage in light of the comments and feedback received. Due to the extent of the regeneration programme across Wirral’s Left Bank, from Bromborough and New Ferry, though Birkenhead and Wirral Waters to Seacombe and Liscard to New Brighton, further consultations will be taking place in the New Year.