CONSTRUCTION work has officially started in New Ferry seven years after an explosion caused devastation in the community.

On March 25, 2017, a shop owner deliberately blew up his furniture store on Bebington Road.

The explosion caused devastation throughout the New Ferry community destroying more than 200 homes and businesses, leaving 81 people injured.

Partners involved in the project to regenerate New Ferry gathered last week to officially mark the beginning of construction work on two sites in the heart of the town.

Cllr Tony Jones, Chair of the Economy, Regeneration and Housing Committee for Wirral Council, said: “This is another significant milestone in the redevelopment of New Ferry. I know it is so important for residents and businesses to finally see spades in the ground on a comprehensive development that will deliver much-needed affordable housing to the area, for both rental and rent to buy.

“Regenerating New Ferry has long been a top priority for the council. However, it has been a complex process, requiring investment and hard work to get to this point due to most of the land and buildings within the development sites being in private ownership.”

The first phase of the project will see 34 new homes built in the area.

The ceremony marked the start of construction of 20 homes on Boundary Road, comprising of 13 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom apartments available under the Rent to Buy scheme, and 14 apartments on Bebington Road for affordable rent available through Regenda Homes, allocated through the Property Pool Plus system.

The development of these two sites represents the first phase of the New Ferry regeneration scheme. A planning application to develop two further sites on Woodhead Street and New Chester Road is currently being determined and a decision expected by the end of April.

The new housing developments will be complemented by improvements to the public realm along Bebington Road and additional car parking facilities on Grove Street, supported by funding from the government’s Future High Streets Fund (FHSF).

Representatives and elected members from Wirral Council joined others representing the development partner, The Regenda Group and their construction specialists M&Y Maintenance and Construction at the ceremony.

The MP for the Wirral South constituency which includes New Ferry - Alison McGovern - was also present, as were representatives from Homes England, who have provided £1.9m funding towards the development of the new, affordable homes.

Martin Davies, Director of Development, at The Regenda Group, said: “We’re pleased to see work begin on site at New Ferry.

“This is an important milestone in our project to rebuild and transform the area, bringing a range of high-quality, affordable homes that meet the needs of local people.”