A TEN-year partnership deal which aims to boost economic growth in Wirral through public-sector led regeneration will be recommended for approval next week.

Council leader Phil Davies will ask his cabinet colleagues to back the appointment of northwest-based MUSE Developments as joint venture partner in Wirral Growth Company (WGC) during a special meeting next Wednesday. It follows an exhaustive selection competition.

Billed as the country's biggest public-sector led regeneration scheme, the project aims to build new homes, commercial, retail and leisure developments, bring thousands of new jobs, boost property values and attract further investment.

If the appointment of MUSE as WGC partner is given the go-ahead, public consultation will start on how to redevelop sites across the borough - including Bebington, Birkenhead, Bromborough, Moreton and Seacombe.

The Council is also keen to see regeneration take place in New Ferry, almost a year after the devastating gas explosion. 

Cllr Davies told the Globe that WGC will play a key role in "boosting the local economy, providing new employment and delivering much-needed new housing".

The report to cabinet next Wednesday says all profits from the developments will be split 50-50. The council's share will be used to provide income for reinvestment in front-line services.

Cllr Davies said: "Three years ago, this administration set our 2020 Pledges and I am delighted to recommend Wirral Growth Company to play a key role in delivering these goals.

"Through Wirral Growth Company we will deliver as promised on our pledges – I am incredibly excited about this opportunity and the future for Wirral.”

Since launching the search for a joint venture partner at global property conference MIPIM last year, council officers have worked to identify a suitable partner to meet growth ambitions.

Last year more than 100 developers, investors, construction firms, architects and planners came to see the opportunities available in Wirral and participate in soft market testing of the WGC proposal.

Cllr Davies said: "As a public sector organisation we have strict procurement rules to follow to ensure the legal and financial elements of the deal are the best possible for the Council, but I also wanted to make sure Wirral got the best possible social outcomes from the deal.

"That is why we have included commitments to hire locally, buy supplies from and contract with local firms, train local workers, and meet the highest environmental, health and safety standards in the deal."

MUSE was one of four national and international investment consortia who competed to be joint venture partner for Wirral Growth Company.

Cllr Davies added: "With the deal being proposed, we will have full involvement in every development decision, we will benefit from the economic growth any regeneration creates and, as a 50-50 joint venture.

"We will benefit from the profits the development delivers – money the Council can reinvest in front line services our residents rely on."

During the four-month-long negotiations, bidding parties were asked to explain how they would create new grade 'A' office space in Birkenhead, provide new affordable housing in Seacombe and extra care housing in Moreton amongst other schemes.

Cllr Davies said: "These are projects which simply cannot be developed by the council in isolation.

"We don't have the required resources, skills or capacity to achieve regeneration on this scale without a partner.

"If Cabinet accept my recommendation to create the joint venture, the next steps include starting the conversation with local residents about what, where, when and how regeneration begins across Wirral.

"Wirral's development story began nearly 200 years ago when investors were encouraged to choose our Peninsula to build great shipyards, factories and plan new towns and villages that were the envy of the World.

"Today we face new challenges – how to fund our public services, improve job opportunities for residents, provide suitable housing, and attract new investment into our borough.

"Wirral Growth Company may well be seen as an important first step in shaping our 21st century economic fortunes."