View the exciting plans for the new Birkenhead Market.
Despite operating in a number of different locations over the years, Birkenhead has a proud history as a market town and the market has always held a special place in the heart of shoppers.
The original market was opened on what is now the site of the town hall on 10th July 1835.
Michael Marks – one of the co-founders of supermarket chain, Marks and Spencer opens one of the first ‘penny bazaar’ stalls in the market in the 1880’s
As the town’s population grew, increased demand led to the opening of an expanded market on Hamilton Street in July 1845. Built by Fox, Henderson & Co, at that time it was Europe’s second largest market after St John’s in Liverpool. It served as a bustling hub of commerce and social activity.
During the 1970’s the commercial centre of Birkenhead was redeveloped around the main shopping area on Grange Road. Following two devastating fires in 1969 and 1974 the market moved to its current location adjacent to the Grange Shopping Precinct in 1977. Despite its relocation the market continued to be popular with shoppers providing locals with a variety of fresh food, clothing, jewellery and a wide range of other products.
The Pyramid Shopping Centre opened in the 1990’s and the historic market site between Hamilton Street and Albion Street was redeveloped for offices and housing. Old Market House is currently occupied by the University of Chester.
The former House of Fraser site has been chosen as the location for the new market.
The store closed its doors in March 2019 and was subsequently acquired by Wirral Council in December 2020.
Located at the entrance to the existing shopping area, proposed commercial district, and future residential development on Hind Street the redevelopment of this site has the potential to deliver something truly transformational.
A new modern market in this location will create a landmark destination that will attract more visitors into Birkenhead and help existing and future independent businesses grow and thrive.
The current market will continue to be open for business as usual and will stay there and remain trading as normal until the new market is complete. The need to provide a new market before the existing market closes has been a key consideration in the proposals.
A place that re-captures the spirit of the historic market so it once again becomes a thriving hub of activity and commerce.
A place that provides a new destination for shopping, leisure, culture and community events and that increases footfall to help drive the day and night time economy.
A place that supports established and aspiring entrepreneurs, so it is resilient, lively and purposeful and provides the flexibility to adapt to change.
A place that is a model for sustainability and provides spaces that are low carbon, sustainable and energy efficient.
A place that is distinctive with independent local businesses and dynamic start ups and delivers a standout development that creates an attractive gateway to the town centre.
A place that is accessible to all and where everyone can be part of the story for Birkenhead.
A welcoming main entrance to attract people into the market day and night.
Level access so the market is accessible for all.
Improved pedestrian and cycle route between St Werburgh’s Square and Argyle Street.
Spill out seating to add vibrancy to the street.
Attractive public realm with immersive planting to improve the appearance of Grange Road and the setting of St Werburgh’s Church.
Pedestrian Friendly Street
A new landscaped public footpath.
Well lit to provide a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists.
Designed to support the future aspiration for a new Market Square on Princess Pavements as part of the St Werburgh’s masterplan.
Large windows on the eastern façade to provide natural surveillance over the street.
New Communal Area
Generous area of communal space to enable street trading, spill out seating and events to encourage more visitors to the town centre.
Possibility of evening use.
Create a friendly dwell space with planting, seating and cycle parking.
Pedestrian and cycle friendly route that create a new connection between Grange Road and Oliver Street West.
Oliver Street West
Servicing area for traders.
Managed timings for deliveries in and out of the market.
Keeps vehicles away from the main public areas.
Footpath to provide a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists.
The design of the building takes it inspiration from the arches on the main entrance to the existing market. The dramatisation of this key feature ensures the market hall delivers a landmark building at this key gateway location.
The brickwork is reflective of the historic character of Birkenhead and the use of large windows allows natural light to penetrate through the market hall but also provides animation at street level to draw people in.
The fabric of the building has been designed with the clear focus of sustainable and energy efficient. Solar roof panels are proposed to reduce the buildings energy consumption.
It is important that the new market provides a place for independent local businesses to thrive and is a destination that supports both the day and night time economy.
WGC have come up with some initial ideas for the internal layout of the market.
The emerging plans have been designed to provide flexible spaces that can adapt to changes over time.
Retail stalls would wrap around the central food, beverage and entertainment offer to give the market a real buzz throughout the day.
Customer toilets and storage are proposed at the back the building and the first floor mezzanine could provide further flexible space for seating, storage and market office.
However, for the new market to be successful we recognise it must meet the needs and aspirations of both traders and customers.
One to one discussions with existing traders are currently ongoing and this along with the feedback from the public consultation events will help to inform the final plans.
3rd March 2023
Consultation with traders
9th & 11th March 2023
Public consultation events
The date for returning comments on the draft proposals
Submission of the planning application and proposed demolition of the former House of Fraser building
Planning application subject to consultation with the local community and statutory consultees
Planning application expected to be determined by Wirral Council
Construction of the new market begins
Market opens for trading
Have your say
As part of our drive to provide opportunities to local tradespeople and smaller businesses, we have connected with Work Radar to increase accessibility to open roles on our future pipeline of work.
Register today and make your skills and business known to those that procure the works.