The art of regeneration

Nestled across the Mersey from Liverpool, The Wirral holds a world of potential waiting to be unlocked. As a local lad and an architect passionate about building up the community, I'm diving deep into the opportunities to develop the area, visualising ways to blend its past with its future.

At BDP, we’re all about blending innovation, sustainability, and community spirit. With our roots firmly planted in the northwest, our team is on a mission to create spaces that not only look good but also feel like home.

Working closely with local councils, we’re navigating the tricky terrain of progress and tradition. We want to keep The Wirral’s unique vibe intact while giving it a modern twist.

And looking ahead, we see The Wirral as a place where town centres can thrive. Picture lively spots filled with activity, inspired by Liverpool’s global culture, all surrounded by greenery. It’s about creating communities where everyone has a place to belong.

Sure, there are challenges along the way. From dealing with rules and regulations to making sure nobody gets left behind, it’s a balancing act. But we’re up for the challenge.

Fundamentally, I see the Wirral as a vanguard for national planning policy, based on brownfield-first regeneration. Many local authorities are looking at the region to see how it performs in terms of its policy inspection. Of course, there is a dichotomy between aspiration and delivery so there is pressure on the council to get its development and regeneration plan right. There will be close attention paid to the region over the next year and it will be pivotal political vehicle around the release of greenbelt.

For this reason, the success of the Wirral will have ramifications across the country and the plans as they stand are futureproofed ahead of a general election. The generation of funding has already been a success through levelling up funding, future high street fund, brownfield development pots and a strong local plan but the quick delivery of the plans are crucial to the future of the region.

Demographically, The Wirral has a population growth of 0.3%, well below the rest of the country which has an average of around 4%. That’s not because of birth rates but because as it stands, people don’t stay in The Wirral. Development should build businesses and places for people to remain. It is in commuter belt territory but lacks the appeal of similar developing regions like Stockport. The future of the region needs to bring in the value from the amazing views to Liverpool, the connectivity on offer, the history and the heritage of the place.

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The Wirral
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Rest of the UK
“For me, I see town centre regeneration like baking a cake. We use the same ingredients for each city but add new flavours and fine tune the method of baking to get the best results for the kind of cake we want.”

In that respect, Birkenhead will be the taste-test for the region. As the de facto capital of The Wirral it’s got huge deprivation issues, a challenging retail environment and it sits at the centre of a wider area with many competitive regions. Add into that the recession and the pandemic and you see that the area needs to be intensified with a purpose and for life and activity to be added to the centre. It needs leisure attractions that draw people into the nighttime economy, and it needs more reasons for people to stay. We need to use the amazing infrastructure the town has and tap into the green spaces – spaces steeped in history that inspired global parks such as Central Park in New York.


Above all, it’s about the people of The Wirral. Their stories, hopes, and dreams drive us forward. So, let’s work together to build a future that’s as vibrant and diverse as the communities we call home.

In the end, our success won’t be measured by the buildings we put up but by the lives and communities we build. With creativity and determination, we can shape the regeneration of an area that we can all be proud of, and one that will act as a springboard for better towns and cities across the UK.


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