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 has been awarded to New Ferry by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s Combined Authority, through the City Region Town Centre Fund. 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.
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. The Council and our own solicitors are currently finalising the legal agreement (GFA) that will underpin this partnership, although there are likely to be some unfortunate delays due to the current Covid-19 crisis.
Though we have, since autumn 2019, already tried to acquire several properties, we have been unable to do so. However, using the City Region grant monies, the Council have now purchased 78-80 New Chester Road (former Shillings). Working with the council, it is our joint intention to complete the refurbishment of the building to enable the property to be let for residential and commercial uses at affordable rents. Given that it already has planning use as a public house, it would of course make an ideal pub again, but also could be used as a restaurant or for any other retail purpose for which we can apply for change of planning use depending on who comes to us asking to rent it.
We hope to be able to bring you further information about these exciting developments as soon as possible.
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