Wirral Council Buys Cinema for Seven Million Pounds in Bid to Help Struggling Town

Wirral Council’s attempt to “completely reshape and reinvigorate the town” has come at a costly price, due to recently buying the seven-screen Vue Cinema in Birkenhead for £7.1m.  If it is approved by the cabinet, despite needing £45m of savings over the next year, it is hoped to be a “steam of income” for the local authority. 

Budget documents are set to be discussed by the council’s cabinet and if this is approved, they will be put to full council for final approval.

Image taken from Google Maps

The building, situated in Conway Park, is believed to be getting knocked down due to a wide regeneration scheme to help transform what once was a bustling high street to become a place “people can talk about.”

As a bid to “secure its immediate future” the authority took control over Birkenhead market which was the first time this has happened in fifteen years.  This has meant that the local authority is now seen to have ‘a massive footprint of land’ after they retake the leasehold for Birkenhead Market and buy the Europa Buildings.

Wirral Council have claimed that Birkenhead will be “massive” after plans for the £1bn regeneration.  These plans include a new purpose-built market, meaning the existing market is likely to be destroyed, and other proposals such as new offices, homes and a new leisure centre. 

It is hoped that these plans will generate thousands of jobs and so have a positive outcome for Birkenhead, however it’s not known if the proposals will include another cinema.

This development will see developers Muse working alongside the council in a hope to “radically re-think what Birkenhead town centre will be like for residents and visitors through Wirral Growth Company.”

The recent encouraging headlines and publicity on the Wirral have helped to attract possible investors said Eric Robison, council CEO.

He also stated, “You’ll have read about us being the happiest place in the North West and read about us having the most desirable postcode in Britain according to the Post Office, CH63, as well as great schools and so on.” 

The above shows how there are a variety of positives about the Wirral and hopefully with the investors knowing this it should attract more investments as well as new residents within the area.

Not everyone agrees with the plans though as leader of the Conservative group said “For eight years, Labour has told us there is no money left – no money for road safety and no money for road and pavement repairs.”

However, it is looking more than likely that the budget will increase to “over £70m plus over the next five years.”  Features for this budget include investing £1.3 buying “key properties” within New Ferry which was devastated in March 2017 with a huge explosion.

Lauren Williams, Pali Ltd