Wirral Council’s approval for the demolition of the old House of Fraser site (which will forever be Beatties to us) on Grange Road is the latest of the town’s ambitious regeneration plans to get the green light.
While new flats have been slated for the department store’s old car park, potentially creating 84 new homes, it’s the vision for a new market hall that’s got us excited.
The Market’s scheduled to open in August 2025, and Wirral Growth Company and developers Muse are promising a cleaner, greener and more accessible trading site for local independents.
The existing Birkenhead Market will continue to host traders until a transition period has been completed, when the old site will be demolished.
We’ll be sad to see it go, but excited for what happens next. We have memories of going with our grandparents when younger and smelling the fishmongers, gawping wide-eyed at the amazing toy stall piled high with pocket-money treats, and, of course, visiting the shop where you could get a t-shirt with Pink Floyd screen printed on it to impress your mates.
It’s been clear for a while that those glory days have passed for the current market, though. Traders have had to fight against the rise in online shopping, falling footfall, a global pandemic and more. But we are a market town to our core.
And, as iconic as the old market is and has been, the planned upgrade will be most welcome for locals, independent traders, the Left Bank and wider Wirral. Convenience Gallery has done an incredible job of documenting its history lately, too, so it’s not a long goodbye by any means.
Though the current market will be no more, it’s the traders and community that will breathe life into the new market. Design-wise, it will also pay homage to its former incarnation with its sweeping archways, traditional brick-lined shell and huge windows making for an inviting open street-accessible space.
The external design is where the similarities to the existing market end. In comes a range of modern design features to complement the new market’s quasi-historic look such as solar panels to help keep carbon emissions low.
Pedestrian- and cycle-friendly pathways around the market will also be landscaped to include trees and plants to support the outdoor seating spaces and make the wider site that little bit more greener and picturesque.
Indoors, a lot of thought has gone into the available space to make it work as optimally as possible for independent traders.
Expect a large central food court area which will also double as a ‘flexible and adaptable’ space’ according to Wirral Growth Company, which we think will be the perfect place to hold events both day and night.
What’s exciting, too, is how a new Birkenhead Market is set to act as a hub and a gateway to all the other regeneration plans that have been laid out for Birkenhead, connecting the recently-bought Pyramids and proposals for the new Hind Street residential area.
Whisper it, but change is coming. You’re forgiven for feeling a little bit excited, It’s happening.