Our proposals and how we will be funded.
Several shops in our district centre have been empty for many years. even before the 2017 explosion wrecked so many of them. Owners - often property investors who do not live in the North West - have little interest in or incentive to refurbish their sometimes derelict properties. We have heard from people who have enquired about renting empty shops only to be told that their owners will only rent to them if the business proposer is prepared to invest THEIR OWN MONEY into refurbishing the building back into useable condition.
This situation cannot continue any longer, as nobody wants to spend their money on SOMEONE ELSE'S BUILDING that they will not end owning. As a result, the shops remain empty and are dragging the shopping centre down.
As is common knowledge, £500,000 was awarded to New Ferry by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s Combined Authority, through the City Region Town Centre Fund in early 2020. Wirral Council will be managing the fund, working in collaboration with New Ferry Community Land Trust on a number of measures that will help reinvigorate the town centre according to an Action Plan which determines how the money is to be spent to deliver agreed targets.
Integral to this has been the Council and New Ferry CLT working together on the identification of suitable premises in New Ferry that can be refurbished with the grant, to enable them to be brought back into economic use. Typically, this will be a mix of uses – residential and commercial/retail.
In February 2020, Wirral Borough Council used part of the £500,000 grant to purchase 78-80 New Chester Road (former Shillings). Although the refurbishment project was delayed by the Covid pandemic, work commenced on the building in summer 2021 to enable the property to be let for residential (4 flats) and commercial uses at affordable rents. The project is scheduled to complete at the end of April 2022, with one of the commercial units being used by the Community Land Trust as its new headquarters as it embarks on its next journey as a landlord managing a commercial and residential property that is a community asset belonging to the people of New Ferry; its rental income being used for the benefit of the community through community based (environment, events and future development) projects.
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