Introducing Wirral Waters development, an incredible opportunity for reinvention, a ground-breaking project of vast regeneration, and a revitalised region ripe for investment. The £4.5bn regeneration scheme is set to transform the left bank of the River Mersey into an internationally recognisable destination, providing a perfect reflection of the regeneration on the other side of the Mersey at Liverpool Waters. At 18 million square feet, ambitious plans outline a ‘masterplan design’ of a monumental, multi-use, highly sustainable ‘city extension’. Focusing on revolutionising many years of inactivity, Wirral Waters promises the restoration of over 500 acres of the semi-derelict Birkenhead dock system.
Helping to deliver this vision is The Peel Group, a devoted company who are proudly responsible for redeveloping 21.8 million square feet of docklands, plus 25 miles of coastline over a proposed 30-year period. Peel is one of the leading infrastructure, transport and real estate companies in the UK with a prominence placed on visionary regeneration projects across North West locations. Peel’s strong track record proves tenacity as their portfolio displays a plethora of long-term regeneration projects committed to sustainability and property development.
With their consequential portfolio currently valued at £2.3 billion, this local company with international prestige gains a reputation for delivering ambitious expansions or developments illustrated in their previous completed developments.
Previous pioneering projects that secured Peel’s notable success include Liverpool John Lennon Airport, L2 Superport and MediaCityUK. Notably, Peel Group experience consolidation across all investments establishing a shared vision of continuous growth fuelled by reinvestment. In addition to establishing a presence amongst Northern Powerhouse cities like Liverpool and Manchester, a major development focussing particularly on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront is Liverpool Waters, a sister project to Wirral Waters.
Advancements across the two neighbouring sites aim to establish a ground-breaking skyline hugging either side of the River Mersey.
Over the next 50 years, Peel’s Ocean Gateway vision will deliver an unprecedented scale of coordinated private sector investment across the North of England. Peel Group’s diversification and expertise across many sectors will embrace ports, logistics, retail and leisure, residential, commercial development, media infrastructure and renewable energy. It is the power of the synergies between these features that have been integrated into the planning of Wirral Waters that give Peel their exclusive insight and remarkable platform for the future.
Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone
Steeped in distinguished maritime history, The River Mersey rose to prominence as the lifeblood of Liverpool. In March 2011, the UK government established four main areas within the UK in need of significant support, these were named ‘Enterprise Zones’. Mersey Waters is one of the largest Enterprise Zones in the UK at 126 hectares and aims to take advantage of its strategic location at the mouth of the river between the two regeneration projects in the Wirral and Liverpool.
Enterprise Zones are essential for driving economic tools and the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone seeks to utilise the River Mersey and its water assets to stimulate growth. To maximise the potential of Wirral Waters, Wirral Council aims to gain status as a priority project. As part of a long-term plan to rebalance the economy, the project is underpinned by a truly collaborative, dynamic approach driven by bold innovation to secure the potential of creating over 20,000 permanent jobs in the Wirral.
A Place to Live
In 2017, Wirral Waters was designated as a Housing Zone by Central Government making it the only project in the whole of the UK to benefit from both Housing Zone and Enterprise Zone status. This ambitious but achievable move is part of the government’s initiative to deliver one million new homes by 2020.
Residents will be able to enjoy world class leisure facilities in an exemplary setting whilst taking advantage of new hubs for artistic and creative industries of the Wirral. Surrounded by awe inspiring architecture, the Wirral Waters project will encapsulate luxury living.
Readily situated on the waterside location are East Float Apartments, approximately 200 units occupied across two Grade II listed buildings will pay homage to Birkenhead’s historic roots whilst maintaining the feel of modern day living – truly embodying the Wirral’s renaissance.
Living in an urban regeneration zone captivates new communities leading to an incessant demand for improving local amenity provision. This provides support and attracts new and existing residents and workers. On the banks of East Floats docks, Egerton Village is a place catering for all inhabitants that are starting to populate the Northbank and Four Bridges – a mixed-use neighbourhood comprising of educational, retail, leisure and commercial office developments.
A Place to Work
The Wirral is famous for its enterprising spirit, currently boasting the highest rate of start-up companies and SME growth within the UK. Unilever has carried out research on the Wirral for over 100 years, underpinning the growth in the area by building global commerce on local foundations.
Set to deliver more than 20,000 permanent jobs, an eclectic array of office facilities grace the Wirral’s waterfront providing a favourable home for businesses keen to establish distinction throughout their office accommodation. Providing a home for all, Wirral Waters consists of first-class studio space, shared offices and corporate HQs – a desirable opportunity for any company considering a European headquarters at justifiable rental costs.
Marine & Maritime sectors are driving growth in jobs and training predominantly in the Liverpool city region. The renaissance of its main trading terminal is through Peel Ports’ £400 million investment in Liverpool2. The city is evolving and the Wirral is keen to play its part in reclaiming the use of its maritime capabilities.
The Maritime Knowledge Hub is to be developed at the Grade II listed Hydraulic Tower Building, a fundamental component of the history and heritage of the Dock Estate. Architecturally designed by two internationally acclaimed firms, up to 60,000 square feet of new office, incubation, teaching and cultural space will become a beacon for the area, standing dignified in the centre of Wirral Waters regeneration.
Similarly, named after one of Birkenhead’s most famous forefathers, Laird House at Tower Road will contribute new, flexible and sustainable office space with magnificent views of the Docks and across to Liverpool. The latest in the raft of projects announced at the multi-million-pound development is No 1 Tower Road South, the first major office development occupying over three storeys. The first floor intends to provide a space for small businesses, while the upper two floors will offer six suites of Grade A office space spanning between 3,000 square feet and 4,000 square feet in size.
A Place to Study
The long-term vision to extend the historic heart of the city of Liverpool across the area is a broad concept, and one that ensures residents and locals not only have the opportunity to live, work and play in the area but also fully immerse themselves in the wealth of state of the art facilities occupying the docklands and surrounding areas.
Education initiatives help to improve the economic productivity of the North West. Advanced skills are an integral part of generating jobs and growth in the region. One objective is to grow skills and training in the relevant sectors and retain talent in the area, ensuring Wirral Waters is an epicentre for prosperity and productivity.
Helping to deliver the promise is Wirral Met College, the newest £11m campus for developing skills in Construction and Built Environment and a resource for allowing students to see how a building is constructed from concept design to completion. As dignified receivers of a prestigious award from the Royal Institute of British Architects, Wirral Met’s specialism in this sector has been honoured, recognising the design skills and professionalism of the project. At approximately 38,000 square feet and with over 500 students studying at the campus, over half of them were involved in the construction stages, demonstrating an exemplary partnership that observes how regeneration occurs.
Wirral’s Infrastructure and Community Projects
Overlooking Liverpool’s world-class city waterfront, the Wirral Dock system on the banks of the River Mersey is centrally located with excellent transport links. Offering strategic advantages to visitors and international business and trade, Wirral Waters exhibits road, rail, sea and air links keeping the city connected through its multiple pathways.
Wirral Streetcar is a sustainable, light rail service using existing rail tracks to provide a ‘feeder’ service into the Mersey Rail network. Unique to the city, Street Cars are similar to trams but more cost-effective and flexible.
A Place to Invest
Wirral Waters is a pivotal moment in the region’s history in terms of delivering ambitious plans for regenerating the borough. Raising the city’s profile plays a crucial role in generating major investment opportunities for developers and investors who are keen to be part of a city enjoying a period of resurgence.
This regeneration hotspot strikes a balance between city centre life and affordability, which is a benefit felt by both tenants and investors. Just minutes from the beating heart of Liverpool, those looking to invest on Wirral soil can avoid paying steep urban prices whilst attaining competitive rental yields on par with the neighbouring city centre zone.
When Will Wirral Waters Start?
Peel Holdings are the tenacious developers that have submitted several planning applications to the Wirral Council to enhance the current land.
Most recently the plans for a £3.5 million amenities and arts hub has been submitted, with the main focus to create a waterside retail and art space to support the anticipated influx of new community that will be attracted to the thriving region.
As well as ensuring new residents and the surge in the population have state of the art living quarters and office space, Wirral Waters is a hotbed for education too. A specialist maritime training facility is set to open as the first of its kind, which will be situated at the dockside location of Tower Quays. This development aims to provide training and consultancy services to the global maritime, oil and gas, and renewables and construction sectors to create a true catalyst for driving growth across the Wirral.
Adding strength to the existing educational facilities prevalent across Birkenhead town centre, two internationally acclaimed architectural firms have been appointed to develop the new Maritime Knowledge Hub in the Grade II listed hydraulic tower building. This is highly regarded as one of the most important components at the Wirral Waters development.
The Wirral Waters completion date is working towards a significant milestone to attract ambitious investors looking for something truly incredible to add to their UK portfolio. It is no surprise that the Wirral is a region proud of its roots, a city transforming into a beacon of excellence – coining the well-deserved title of ‘The Paradise Peninsular’.