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#773137 - 1st Mar 2013 5:17am what could revive Birkenhead town centre?
Elizabeth Offline
Veteran

Registered: 28th Jul 2011
Posts: 718
Loc: Prenton, Wirral
What would need to happen for Birkenhead town centre for it to become a place people would want to visit / shop?
Comments, either on here or elsewhere always say how awful it is now and it's become so bad that most people choose to shop elsewhere.
When you think of Albert Dock before it was regenerated, it was an eyesore yet it has been transformed into a major tourist attraction.
So what could be done to save Birkenhead from endless charity shops and the like and get it to a place where people would be happy to go?
Or is it too far gone and it's just going to get worse?

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#773144 - 1st Mar 2013 8:44am Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
Dilly Online   Reading
Wiki Addict

Registered: 17th Jul 2011
Posts: 7696
Loc: wallasey
People having money to spend shopping, unlike Liverpool Birkenhead has nothing to attract masses of tourist and their money.

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#773145 - 1st Mar 2013 8:55am Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
Neil_c Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Sep 2009
Posts: 417
Loc: birkenhead
Albert dock was a bit different, firstly it was conceived on the back of the toxteth riots and had the complete backing (and funding) of central government. Michael Heseltine was the minister appointed to directly oversee the project which was carried out through a government quango (the MDC). The MDC could also bypass Liverpool City Council as a planning authority, so there was very little to get in its way.

With Wirral waters getting underway, it's unlikely that anything will be done to the town centre in terms of substantial investment; local councillors are concerned about this.

I couldn't imagine any investment coming from central government for Birkenhead as it's not alone in town centre decline (Preston was on the News last night about exactly the same thing).

Personally I think it should put more emphasis on the market as it has History and does help make the place a little unique.


Edited by Neil_c (1st Mar 2013 8:56am)

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#773184 - 1st Mar 2013 11:41am Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5349
Loc: Birkenhead
I know what puts me off, parking charges, might as well get the train over the water and have a better experience.
_________________________
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

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#773193 - 1st Mar 2013 12:31pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
pepe26 Offline
Member

Registered: 3rd Mar 2009
Posts: 65
Loc: wirral
Went to Hamilton square for meeting ,drove around to find I had to pay to park ,never again birkenhead ..when you park someone from the council should hand you money ...... Terrible place .i work 5 mins from centre and have shopped there twice in 12 years .

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#773203 - 1st Mar 2013 1:22pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
kamikazi Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 12th Jul 2010
Posts: 493
Loc: Wallasey
Went shopping in Birkenhead yesterday, sad to see such decline even in the two years since I moved back to Wirral, I lived in Northwich previously, free parking in the town resulted in a lively economy.

Worth stating that Albert Dock actually failed as a retail destination but has thrived as part of the visitor economy.

Liverpool one has done for Birkenhead what Meadowhall did for Sheffield, Manchester has its Trafford centre and Prescot is now Tescoville, Birkenhead also has to contend with Chester and Cheshire Oaks.

The Answer is a mixture of a renewed vision followed by investment and a rethink about arcane parking laws, backed up by us the residents of Wirral, we should all spend locally whenever possible, if we did this then more shops would stay open.

K

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#773204 - 1st Mar 2013 1:24pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: BandyCoot]
Moonstar Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 2nd Jul 2011
Posts: 1240
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: BandyCoot
I know what puts me off, parking charges, might as well get the train over the water and have a better experience.


In total agreement.

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#773212 - 1st Mar 2013 1:41pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
The work going on now for more shops/ outlets at M53 Junction 1 (Bidston) is not going to help Birkenhead centre either. Next, Argos, M&S (? rumoured) and maybe PC World (rumoured)

The work is well underway and although the following link shows only the developers 'model' I doubt they would be able to show the named shops unless it had been agreed.

For me it is better - because I live in Wallasey and just the other side of Junction 1 - but that simply makes it even more unlikely that I will go into Birkenhead.

http://www.vzdv.com/Bidston-Moss/Selected-Projects/

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#773242 - 1st Mar 2013 3:36pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
katiechops Offline
Member

Registered: 26th Apr 2011
Posts: 73
Loc: wallasey
radical thought, demolish the eyesore that is Birkenhead Market, the whole place is overpriced, depressingly full of boring 'Stalls' and 'coffee shops'. there is no atmosphere about the place, staff seem too bored to even engage in eye contact, let alone conversation!!then in it's place could be a much smaller,more attractive area that could be used as venue for a real Farmers Market, held at weekends,

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#773257 - 1st Mar 2013 4:31pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
davew3 Offline
Forum Guide

Registered: 16th Jun 2009
Posts: 1024
Loc: Wirral
Wirral, just as Chester city centre is now doing , don't want cars in the city or town centre, they have their wish, most cars can take up to four people, those people are now going to out of town shopping area's and the city/town centres are doing what's expected dying due to lack of footfall into the city / town centre shops, you can't have it both ways, people if they had a chance would never get out of their car if the shops aisle were wide enough, the Council can have high parking fees to dissuade drivers and very few people or low parking fees and like Widnes or even Ellesmere Port lots of people.


Edited by davew3 (1st Mar 2013 4:33pm)

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#773288 - 1st Mar 2013 5:58pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
j_demo Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 4th Nov 2011
Posts: 1866
Loc: Wallasey/New Brighton
nuke the place and start again.

look at liverpool one and the building (quiggins i believe) that was there beforehand and the major uproar that went around that being pulled down to make way for liverpool one.

i much prefer liverpool as it is now than as it was then

as was said earlier by BandyCoot - i would much rather spend the extra quid or so on the train and have the pleasure and experience of walking round liverpool shopping and have the choice of hundreds and hundreds of shops, some of which i'm still discovering, than go into birkenhead and wanting to get out ASAP.

parking i know is an issue to most, not me as at the moment i don't have a car (have had in the past, and will have in the near future) but charging more to park in birkenhead than the equivelant to park in Liverpool... i know what i'd rather do.

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#773350 - 1st Mar 2013 8:41pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
CateJones Offline
Newbeee

Registered: 7th Aug 2010
Posts: 45
Loc: Bebington
Birkenhead market is part of the heritage of Birkenhead. What they need to do is reconfigure it. Make it more of a farmers market for local produce etc.

The problem is trying to get big brands to invest in putting their stores in Birkenhead. If there were more of a variety in shops, people would go!
But, as Liverpool is so close by, the other option is to go down the Chester/Shrewsbury route, and have smaller unique shops. They'd have to reduce rents to gain this tho!

And parking is an issue. They should maybe do a park & ride from a free/cheap car park nearby?

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#773359 - 1st Mar 2013 8:57pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Elizabeth]
Shambo Offline
Wise One

Registered: 15th Jul 2008
Posts: 794
Loc: New Brighton
The unstoppable rise of internet shopping has already changed every high street as we recently used to perceive it, and the majority of all shops are going to close sooner rather than later, but it's not to blame for the rot that had already set in. Birkenhead is a shopping backwater, Liverpool is the nearest major shopping destination, but not so far away from Manchester that two stores might be needed. It's not that important to go to a store, for most purchases, when you can have the convenience of goods delivered to your doorstep for less than it costs to park a car.

The only other reason to go to Birkenhead would be for it to become a destination in itself. Leisure services such as bars, restaurants, venues, cinemas, galleries, theatres, museums, arcades, tourist attractions... places to gather with friends and spend money. Anything other than retail.

tl;dr? Nothing simple that'll happen by grand design, these things evolve over generations.

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#773364 - 1st Mar 2013 9:18pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: CateJones]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: CateJones
Birkenhead market is part of the heritage of Birkenhead.

I'm afraid that, to those of us who knew and loved the old market, the present one is rubbish.
_________________________
Carpe diem.

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#773372 - 1st Mar 2013 9:38pm Re: what could revive Birkenhead town centre? [Re: Shambo]
j_demo Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 4th Nov 2011
Posts: 1866
Loc: Wallasey/New Brighton
Originally Posted By: Shambo
The only other reason to go to Birkenhead would be for it to become a destination in itself. Leisure services such as bars, restaurants, venues, cinemas, galleries, theatres, museums, arcades, tourist attractions... places to gather with friends and spend money. Anything other than retail.

unfortunately for birkenhead the recent resurgence of new brighton and the bad reputation that birkenhead has for pubs etc is always going to go against it.

i'm too young to know what liverpool used to be like, but i've heard stories of unprecedented random acts of violence and other such negatives from how it "used" to be on a night out, but since i've been going (around 6 years) i've never seen a single fight or anyone even showing signs that they want to go for a fight.

i have been to birkenhead on a night out twice in the past 6 years, one time a lad was stabbed, another there was a full-on brawl.

as you said, things need a long time, perhaps as much as generations, to evolve. and Liverpool has clearly managed that, ok with the assistance of a strategically placed fairly small police presence, birkenhead needs the same to happen for anyone with more than 2 brain cells to want to go there with friends for an enjoyable time, it needs a cleaner public image and new lease of life, obviously through major investment and redevelopment, otherwise it's going to become one of them places you avoid at all costs.

being what it is, a vaguely historic place, i am disappointed that Birkenhead has ended up how it has done, nobody and everybody is to blame for that, but when and IF, it does have a resurgence, i will be interested to see what direction it goes in. a shopping centre will be out of the question unless it goes like the trafford centre and is mainly inddors with some nice restaurants etc, but birkenhead isn't as important as manchester or as easily accessable to the country so it won't be a rival to the trafford centre, could it be like liverpool one? again, no. liverpool has a few train lines going to it as well as more roads to the city whereas birkenhead doesn't.
it will be interesting to see IF birkenhed does get redeveloped in years to come, and i mean 20+ years away, not anytime in the near future, and what direction it will go in. there's nothing i can think of that either hasn't already been done on the wirral/Liverpool to make people go there instead of anywhere else or that will be economically viable if there aren't as many shops...

tl;dr birkenhead isn't gonna change any time soon

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