PLANS for improvement work in Birkenhead town centre are moving a step closer to reality after the council appointed a contractor for the projects.

Areas of Conway Street/Europa Boulevard and Grange Road/Charing Cross/Grange Road West are set to be upgraded. Both projects are due to start 'shortly; the local authority has confirmed.

Its economy regeneration and housing committee agreed to appoint a contractor for these town centre schemes, resulted in John Grahams Ltd announced as preferred contactor for the two schemes.

The planned work, described by the council as 'major' will see improvements to walking, cycling and public areas on Conway Street, Europa Boulevard and across part of the existing Europa Car Park and Claughton Road.

In addition there will be changes to improve the look and feel of Grange Road and to simplify the Charing Cross junction making it easier to cross."

Along part of Grange Road West will be a pilot scheme which will mean traffic will only be allowed to travel in a westbound direction (away from Charing Cross) and improvements to the public space to encourage more people to visit and spend time there, as well as improved links to Grange Road itself.

A statement from the council read: "The coming years are set to see tens of millions of pounds invested in the redevelopment and regeneration of Birkenhead Waterfront and Birkenhead town centre areas.

"These works are a key element of the plans for the town and also fit in with the wider ambitious regeneration programme for Wirral’s whole Left Bank which stretches from Bromborough through Birkenhead, Wirral Waters, Seacombe and Liscard to New Brighton.

"The local authority has secured grants from a number of separate Government sources and is now pressing ahead with a series of linked projects including these improvements at Conway Street and Europa Boulevard plus Grange Road/Charing Cross/Grange Road West.

"The regeneration work will be using the responses to extensive consultations over the future of the town centre to forge ahead in making Birkenhead fit for the future."

In December 2020, the council was awarded £25 million from the then Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for its Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) programme which included £3,904,059 for the Conway Street/Europa Boulevard scheme and £2,969,245 for the Grange Road/Charing Cross/Grange Road West scheme.

The council has also been awarded £3,850,000 of funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) to support delivery of the Conway Street / Europa Boulevard Movement Project, with Wirral Growth Company funding completing the funding package.

The grant available for the two projects totals £11,893,304.