WORK is underway on a showpiece £2.3m riverside park at Bromborough.
Created on the former Bromborough Dock landfill site the Port Sunlight River Park will open up a route to the Mersey for local people and visitors and stimulate economic development of East Wirral.
The site is the flagship project of the Mersey Coastal Park Strategy - part of Wirral Council’s regeneration vision designed to re-connect communities with the River Mersey and harness the economic potential of the waterfront.
An area of salt marsh to the North of the site is an important site for large populations of water birds and is a site of special protection.
Work will also improve the public realm along the waterfront with a perimeter walk, as well as a walk to the 37metre-high summit.
The 28 hectare site will offer visitors views across the river Mersey to the Liverpool waterfront and the UNESCO World Heritage Site (The Three Graces).
The transformation has been possible thanks to £2.3 made available via the Government's Newlands programme and from the site owners Biffa.
Restoration work to ensure the vision for Port Sunlight River Park becomes a reality is being managed by national charity the Land Trust on behalf of Biffa and the delivery partners.
Wirral South MP Alison McGovern said: "Opening this up has been a priority of mine over the past two years – reuniting Wirral people with their coastline – and bringing in new tourism opportunities, especially given the walking routes between this park and Port Sunlight, and the Mersey coast of the Wirral."
Cllr Pat Hackett, Wirral's cabinet member for regeneration and planning strategy, said: "The park will have expansive views over the entire Mersey Estuary and is sure to become popular with visitors, hopefully bringing an added economic benefit to the area."
Euan Hall, chief executive of the Land Trust; commented: "The creation of this new park will be a fantastic resource not only the local community by offering benefit to health, education and social cohesion but also the region through tourism, creating a catalyst for economic uplift.
"This will be a terrific scheme and credit needs to go to all the partners who have pushed to make this a reality."
Forestry Commission area director Keith Jones, said:: "To reach this point has taken considerable effort by every partner involved; it is an excellent example of what can, and indeed needs to be done in different ways across the country.
"It demonstrates that triple win solutions are possible as it will help stimulate the local economy, with additional local community and local environmental gains."
John Devine regional operations manager for Biffa said: "We are delighted that this former landfill site is to be part of this regeneration scheme.
"Continued long term environmental monitoring of the site by Biffa will assist in providing a platform to benefit the local community through its footpaths, views and the variety of wildlife it will support."
Lionel Bolland, chief executive of Port Sunlight Village Trust said: "The historic maritime connection of the village is important to our heritage and a significant additional feature for visitors and the local community.
"The amenity it affords and the potential increase in economic activity can only be for the good of us all."
Partners in the project partners include Biffa, BIS (formally NWDA), The Forestry Commission, Wirral Borough Council, Gillespies, Unilever, Essar, United Utilities, Port Sunlight Village Trust and the Woodland Trust.