A FORMER social club in New Ferry has been given a new lease of life in a bid to boost trade as the town recovers from a devastating explosion.

The Vista Business Hub - which opened in the town recently - is described as a "well designed, modern business centre" hosting co-working space, private offices, reflection areas, a meeting room and an events space for businesses to hire.

It was created by Wirral-based developer The Vista Group, who had identified a key need for rejuvenation within the area following the aftermath of the New Ferry explosion in 2017.

It bought The Bebington Liberal Club, located in Bebington Road, transforming into the stunning new facility, where businesses now have a base to build.

Wirral Globe:

Inside Vista Business Hub

Ryan Williams, of The Vista Group, says the building now offers so much more to the local community and is open to anyone who needs a quiet space to work away from home, freelancers, sole traders or small businesses looking for a space of their own.

Additional services include a modern meeting room or training area to hold events and conferences for up to 20 people.

Wirral Globe:

Inside Vista Business Hub

Regular networking events will be hosted when deemed safe by the government.

Ryan Williams continued: "We wanted to bring business back into the community after the explosion that rocked New Ferry and the renovation of The Bebington Liberal Club seemed like the perfect opportunity."

The Vista Group is a Wirral based property development company which is revitalising community projects around the local area and beyond.

Wirral Globe:

Inside Vista Business Hub

To book a viewing of Vista Business Hub email admin@vista-hub.com or call 0151 644 8422.

Bebington Liberal Club's transformation into a business hub is the latest stage in efforts to regenerate the town that was rocked by the blast in March 2017.

Wirral Globe:

Bebington Liberal Club on Bebington Road, with New Ferry town centre - site of the 2017 explosion - in distance. Picture: Google Maps / Streetview 

In September, Wirral Council was recently given outline planning consent to build new homes, flats and retail units in parts of the town.

Among areas earmarked for development is the site of the gas explosion in March 2017 on Boundary Road.

Another development will be opposite the explosion site where many existing retail and residential buildings were damaged beyond repair in that blast.

The third site incorporates a block of largely derelict and disused retail units along the main New Chester Road, as well as part of a council-owned car park on Woodhead Street that backs onto the explosion site.

In total, across the three sites the proposal is for the building of up to 79 new residential units - a mixture of two and three-bedroom houses and one and two-bedroom apartments.

The planning consent also incorporates more than 1,000 square metres of retail space.

The details of each proposed development are:

Woodhead Street car park and land at New Chester Road:

• Up to 15 houses (including eight two-bedroom and seven three-bedroom)

• Up to 30 apartments (including 12 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom)

• Retention of 70 public car parking spaces on Woodhead Street car park

• New access point to the site from New Chester Road

Land at Bebington Road:

• Development of up to 540sqm retail floorspace

• Up to 23 apartments (including 16 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom)

• Retention of eight public car parking spaces on Grove Road

• Primary access point to the site from the existing access point off Grove Road

Land at Boundary Lane (explosion site)

• Development of up to 480sqm retail floorspace

• Up to 11 apartments above (including nine 1-bedroom and two 2-bedroom)

Speaking at the time outline consent was given, then council leader Cllr Pat Hackett, said: "New Ferry is one of Wirral Council's major priorities - even more so since that devastating night in March 2017.

"It has been, however, a very complex process to get to the position we are now in, which is a significant milestone for the redevelopment plans.

"Outline planning permission will allow us to present three separate areas of land - including those sites most badly affected by the explosion - to developers and will allow the council to move forward with the acquisition of those properties still in private-ownership, by compulsory purchase if necessary.

"We have ambitious plans for the town and I'm pleased that the patience of residents, business owners and visitors to New Ferry will soon be rewarded."

The remaining concrete floor slab and foundations of what was 41-43 Bebington Road - the location of the explosion - was removed in August.

The explosion destroyed homes and businesses, leaving locals in a state of shock.

It was so severe that some had to live in temporary accommodation for as long as two years.

In total the explosion injured 81 people, forced 83 residents to leave their homes and 32 businesses to close.

Luckily, no one was killed.

Furniture shop owner Pascal Blasio was jailed for 20 years last October after being found unanimously guilty of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property and fraud involving an insurance claim he made after the blast.