Issue - meetings
Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone Investment Fund - Ben Lavell
Meeting: 30/09/2019 - Cabinet (Item 37)
Councillor Tony Jones introduced a report by the Economic Development Lead that informed that Peel Investments (Intermediate) Limited (Peel) had applied for a grant from the Wirral Waters Investment Fund (WWIF) of £400,000 to help secure £2,100,000 of funding which had been agreed from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF). This was in addition to £300,000 of project finance that the Council had already agreed to fund through its capital programme, £100,000 from European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) and £300,000 private sector contribution from Peel. The funding would be used to develop green infrastructure and public realm improvements in the Tower Road area of Birkenhead, an existing public highway on land already owned and adopted (maintained by obligation) by the Council.
The ‘Civilised Street’ works would transform A554 Tower Road through wider pavements, shared surface areas and reduced carriageway widths, and would create some 1km of shared footway / cycle way. It would link to existing and proposed pedestrian / cycle routes and bus stops, facilitating access to wider areas, making Tower Road a high-quality destination for workers, students, residents and visitors accessing the area by these modes.
The ‘Green Infrastructure’ element of the scheme would see 130 new trees planted, comprising 90 large trees in pits located on grassed areas and 40 large trees in pits located on hard areas.
This scheme would integrate with recent sustainable transport improvements in the Wirral Waters area including recently completed shared footway/cycle ways on Northbank East and Rendell Street. Funding had also been secured via ESIF for the extension of the Northbank East scheme along Northbank West to the Duke Street junction where it would meet with a further STEP funded cycle route. All works in the area including the Tower Road Public Realm scheme were future proofed to accommodate the implementation of a mass transit solution.
These works would enhance the physical environment and accessibility associated with several key development and investment locations including the Wirral Waters Campus of Wirral Metropolitan College, Egerton Square amenity village, Tower Road Office and Maritime Knowledge Hub. Further, the scheme provided direct access linking committed footway and cycle ways to new housing within the Northbank/Tower Road development cluster totalling approximately 1,100 units planned to 2024, with key projects including Wirral Walters One/Legacy, Belong Village and Urban Splash. Tower Road was a key gateway route connecting Wirral Waters with Birkenhead town centre to the south. As such, the application was recognised to be crucial to contributing more widely to the success of the Wirral Waters development area, Woodside Waterfront and Birkenhead Town Centre regeneration initiatives.
The Wirral Plan: A 2020 Vision set out the vision for the borough and had economic growth at its heart to ensure residents were able to access good, high paying jobs in a stable and thriving economy. The Plan identified 20 key pledges that the Council, and its partner agencies, must deliver and the application for financial assistance directly supported the following pledges:
· Increase inward investment
· Workforce skills match business ... view the full minutes text for item 37