PLANS to build a "new and revitalised" Birkenhead Market have moved a step forward this week.

Described as a key part of "ambitious" regeneration proposals for the town centre, it will be built on the current site.

While work takes place, traders will be housed temporarily in a 'modern, fit-for-purpose' development on nearby Europa Boulevard.

As part of the process, traders are to be given Section 25 notices setting the date for the end of their current tenancy agreements.

They will then be invited to agree new leases on their current premises in the market.

A council spokesperson said: "The majority will be entitled to receive statutory compensation as part of agreeing new terms with the authority.

"It is expected they will have around 18 months left in the current building so nothing will change for traders right away and they will continue to welcome customers as normal."

Cllr Tony Jones, Wirral Council's cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: "We are on the eve of a new and exciting phase for Birkenhead, with ambitious plans to revitalise the town.

"Issuing these section 25 notices is a technical step but it shows we are absolutely serious about Birkenhead's redevelopment.

"I can give my assurance that we will be supporting traders throughout the entire regeneration process.

"We all want the same thing - to make Birkenhead a vibrant and attractive location, drawing in shoppers to the market and other retailers and giving the town the boost it needs.

"We have also made it clear that we will support where possible any trader who wants to stay in the area but chooses not to come with us to the temporary market to find alternative premises."

During the pandemic lockdown, the council supported market traders by charging no rent for three months and then providing a 50% rent reduction for three months for all who were able to reopen as lockdown started to ease in June.

Cllr Jones added: "The market will continue to have a huge role to play in the future of Birkenhead town centre and I hope residents won't forget the incredible effort the traders put in to supply essential food to residents across Wirral during lockdown - especially those who needed to shield or self-isolate."

To find out more about Birkenhead Market, visit its website or follow them on Facebook.