A key part of the plan to regenerate Birkenhead town centre was approved by Wirral Council’s cabinet today (Monday, November 4).

The council backed the purchase of the shop units at Milton Pavement and unit 13-15 at St Werburgh’s Square.

The council’s purchase of Milton Pavement is designed to ensure any plans for the site’s redevelopment have a positive impact on the town centre.

This is part of the Wirral Growth Company’s (WGC) work; a partnership between the council and urban regeneration specialists Muse Developments.

WGC is currently moving forward with major developments at Birkenhead, Bromborough and Moreton.

A second phase of the public consultation on Birkenhead is due to start on November 7 and the outcome of this will influence future plans for the town centre.

In a statement, Cllr Pat Hackett, leader of Wirral Council, said: “This investment will deliver two key objectives at the same time – help kickstart the regeneration of Birkenhead which in turn will bring in money in future years to help the council continue delivering the crucial frontline services residents and businesses rely upon.

“Regenerating Birkenhead will help turn the town around and create a prosperous community and at the same time, by investing in this now the council will earn income from it in the future, helping support vital frontline services from social care to road maintenance.”

Cllr Hackett gave an impassioned appraisal of the proposal at this morning’s cabinet meeting, he said: “Our plans for economic growth are about creating community wealth and creating opportunities for local people, regenerating our commercial areas and inspiring ambition.

“Prosperous communities are happy and healthier and of course better places to live.”

The cabinet meeting also approved a measure to implement a 200% surcharge on council tax for the owners of homes left empty for five years.

A plan to help 9,000 low income families by cutting their council tax bills was also approved at the meeting.