As 2019 moves forward, Wirral Chamber of Commerce is looking to the opportunities created in developing Wirral a centre for business and Place Shaping initiatives which will further enhance our visitor economy offer.
Partnerships are essential for the Chamber and for our membership, and we will strengthen links with the Liverpool City Region LEP, Combined Authority, and Wirral Council, relationships key to future success and growth.
Throughout the year we will work with our membership through an events calendar offering effective platforms to exchange information, ideas and views on key issues affecting our business community. Our recent event, Coffee with the Leader, provided an open forum in which Chamber Patron and Strategic Partners met with Cllr Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council.
Held at Russell Taylor Group’s headquarters in Bromborough, leading business figures from Russell Taylor Group, BM Waste Services, Beech Group, The Carroll Group, Training Solutions, Digital Associate, The Hive Youth Zone participated. The discussion covered developments and proposals that promise to create opportunities for businesses and employers across the Borough.
This included schemes on Wirral Council’s regeneration agenda, such as the development of a new market facility to enhance the retail offer, together with a leisure centre, cinema and office space. Liverpool based YPG plans to convert the former council treasury building in Birkenhead into 200 student units which will become known as the Hamilton Hub.
Peter Russell, Chairman of Russell Taylor Group, said, “Another major step forward to making regeneration a reality, and key to this will be strong partnerships and collaboration between employers, educationalists and training organisations to create a vibrant economy driven by a local workforce.”
Councillor Davies said, ”The Wirral Chamber of Commerce meetings have enabled me to meet and engage with many of Wirral’s most influential business leaders, share information and listen to opinion and advice, which will help shape policy going forward.”
Developments will also be in place at the waterfront Woodside area, supporting destination and visitor economy growth, increasing footfall and maximising Wirral’s view across the Mersey towards Liverpool’s iconic skyline.
Woodside will be a key for wider development opportunities, supporting Wirral’s 2019 recognition as Borough of Culture through the Woodside Ferry Village project. Located in the historic river ferry terminal, Woodside Ferry Village is market village concept which will become home for several food and drink concessions and is set to fully open in Spring 2019. Driven by the Woodside Area Community Interest Group, the scheme is based around similar themed UK food villages, which are now major visitor attractions
Terry Carroll, Managing Director of the Carroll Group said “As a Wirral Chamber Strategic Partner and a Liverpool based group of companies looking to invest in Wirral I am encouraged that we have made the right decision and look forward to using the contacts I have made today to develop our plans further.”
Chris Wainwright, Managing Director of Beech Group was equally enthusiastic, saying he was “Very impressed with the discussion and to hear about future plans, these are exciting times for Wirral and Beech Group is ready and willing to support these initiatives in any way we can.”
Wirral’s Borough of Culture for the Liverpool City Region status will promote the visitor economy through cultural events around themes of discovery, exploration and the great outdoors. These will incorporate art, exhibitions, music, theatre and technology in showcasing Wirral and its offer as a place to work, live and visit, and at Seacombe Ferry and due to open in 2021 alongside the existing Spaceport, the Eureka Children’s Museum will attract over 200,000 visitors to Wirral each year.
The Wirral Waters scheme will create a new community and transform the docklands area, including 800 residential apartments serviced by ‘Egerton Village’ a mix of retail, restaurants and leisure outlets. Further plans will see the creation of extensive office accommodation, a Maritime Knowledge Hub, and an engineering trading estate with further schemes also in the pipeline.
Paula Basnett, CEO of Wirral Chamber of Commerce summarised, “Wirral Chamber of Commerce is a modern, proactive organisation addressing and challenging issues affecting the business community. Through Patron, Strategic and our Essential members partnerships, we look to create and offer effective business events, and through this we will continue supporting our membership and driving their growth.”