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Pat sets out his bold vision for New Brighton
A GOLDEN vision of New Brighton, with a restored pier and landing stage and a marina encircling Fort Perch Rock, has been painted by Wirral Council regeneration chief Pat Hackett.
Cllr Hackett, back on the council after an absence of three years, declared: "If we are not visionary, no-one else will be.
"We need to build on the momentum created by the Marine Point development.
"We can't stand still, we need to move forward. New Brighton is doing well in a time of recession.
"The opportunities are massive – particularly with the cruise liner project across the water in Liverpool.
"That is why I believe that a new pier and landing stage venture at New Brighton is vital.
"In terms of regeneration we are only half way there."
Cllr Hackett, council cabinet member for regeneration and planning strategy, said he anticipated that the pier, landing stage and marina project would be build within the next five years.
He said: "We are confident that the success of the Marine Point scheme will act as a catalyst for further development.
"We will do our best to make sure that those things people wanted to happen at New Brighton, will happen."
New Brighton's regeneration has taken a long time in coming.
"Decades in the doldrums following the glory years after the end of World War II, when thousands of day trippers crossed the Mersey to enjoy the resort's amusements and entertainments which included the majestic Tower Ballroom and its fairground, the pier and theatres and Europe's biggest open air pool.
One-by-one they disappeared as sunshine package tours to the continent increased in popularity.
Failed revitalisation plans included a scheme to transform Victoria Road into a shopping centre to compare with London's Coven Garden; a planned Disneyland-type venture along the coastal stretch between New Brighton and Wallasey Village; a £400m Ocean Dome seafront project; a Pleasure Island scheme within an artificial lagoon and a £10m development back in 1960 to create a major leisure development centres on the former Tower Grounds site.
In the meantime, infrastructure work will be carried out along the promenade later this year to create extra parking spaces at the resort.
A series of planters put in place by the former Merseyside Development Corporation in the 1990s – will be removed and special "safety crossing" will be constructed to make crossing the main roads less hazardous.
Cllr Hackett said: "There are 26 planters between Victoria Road and Rowson Street so their removal will increase the numbers of parking spaces quite considerably."