WORK to transform Birkenhead town centre into a "vibrant mixed-use destination" is set to begin.

The shopping area known as Milton Pavements has been bought by Wirral Growth Company - a strategic joint venture between Wirral Council and urban regenerator Muse Developments.

They have appointed specialist demolition contractor, PP O’Connor to demolish part of the vacated Milton Pavements and former B&M store, with work expected to begin over the next few weeks.

Several closed shops and unattractive vacant buildings will be demolished, so the development of the first phase of the new office quarter can begin.

It is part of an "innovative masterplan for the town centre which will see a highly-accessible, central business district created with new energy-efficient office buildings set within extensive public realm and green space".

Wirral Council plans to occupy part of the new office space as part of its commitment to improving its carbon footprint and reduce its unsustainable estate.

Later phases will see replacement market and wider regeneration of the Leftbank urban development area.

Once Milton Pavements has been demolished, the first phase of development will bring forward two office buildings, totalling 150,000 sq ft, which are hoped to be on site in the middle of next year.

Mike Horner, director at Wirral Growth Company, said: "Despite challenging circumstances, we're delighted to be starting on site.

"This is a key moment in the transformation of the town centre as we will all start to see construction activity and a physical change on the ground.

"The demolition of Milton Pavements, which will be completed in line with the government’'s construction guidelines, will pave the way for the exciting first phase of commercial development.

"This will really kick start our journey on the Wirral, as we start to see the physical manifestation of our collective vision for Birkenhead that will drive growth and prosperity for the borough.”

Chair of Wirral Council’s economy, regeneration and development committee, Cllr Anita Leech said: "The appointment of the Milton Pavements demolition contractors marks tangible progress in our plans to implement significant change in Birkenhead.

"This is the start of a flagship project which will regenerate the town centre, making a statement that Wirral is open for business, despite the current challenges, ensuring it will continue to transform itself to secure a positive future for its people and its business communities.”