COUNCIL bosses are planning to bring Birkenhead’s historic Hamilton Square back to life under plans being considered to reopen it to traffic.

The authority hopes to revitalise the area by allowing traffic to access the square from all four sides and creating better links between Birkenhead town centre, Hamilton Square and Woodside.

A report due to go before a meeting of full council tonight briefly details the £1.1m project, which will “facilitate improved accessibility and traffic improvements.

Part of the square – which was built between 1825 and 1847 – was pedestrianised as part of £80m work carried out in the Hamilton Quarter area between 1995 and 2002.

It was reopened to traffic close to Hamilton Square Station three years ago to allow better access for buses and those using that side of town.

Now council bosses hope to extend that success to boost the town centre’s economy.

The report, which is not expected to be discussed by councillors tonight, adds that Mott MacDonald has been commissioned to design the scheme – which will see Hamilton Street re-opened outside Birkenhead Town Hall.

A consultation will take place prior to its implementation and, subject to securing approval, the project will be tendered in December with a view to the work being completed by next March.

The possibility of re-opening Hamilton Square to traffic was first raised by Wirral Council last April.

At the time, David Ball, the council’s head of regeneration and planning, said: “We have been looking for some time at how we can support Hamilton Square going forward.

“It is a fantastic area in terms of its heritage and historical importance and we want to see if we can bring a bit of additional life and vitality to the area.”

Mr Ball stressed that the square would not be opened entirely and would remain pedestrianised in front of the town hall and war memorial.

He said: “Before the pedestrianisation of the square it was too busy an area and there was a lot of traffic going through it.

“Keeping the pedestrianised area in front of the town hall is something we want to do as it is a great public space that is used on a number of occasions for various events, but the square gets  quiet very fast on an evening and people don’t go there unless they have a specific reason.

“Opening up the two sides of the square would give better access and greater through flow to the area and when there is movement in a place, people have a reason to go there.”

Councillor Pat Hackett, Wirral’s cabinet member for economy, said: “Hamilton Square is an area of historic importance and the council is in discussions with English Heritage to explore new ways of managing the area.

“We have a strong vision to link Birkenhead town centre, Hamilton Square and Woodside as key locations to create employment opportunities.

“When economic circumstances allow, these plans will make an important contribution to revitalising the centre of Birkenhead.”