BirkenEd’s Place – a community hub in Birkenhead
BirkenEd’s Place was a community hub based in the heart of Birkenhead. Birkenhead is going through an enormous transformation over a 20 year period, and we wanted local people to shape what happens. We engaged with several projects in the Birkenhead 2040 Framework. BirkenEd’s Place became a central hub for involving people who live and work in Birkenhead in the exciting plans for the town. It opened in late November 2022 until closing in September 2023.
What we did
BirkenEd’s Place was a relaxed, creative space where everyone is welcome. The space was open 4 days a week between 11am-4:30pm, including a Saturday. Through changing exhibitions and events, from family craft sessions to walking tours – the space gave the people of Birkenhead an opportunity to shape the future of their town. It created a hub for learning about the plans, having discussions, developing ideas and shaping decisions. We brought together several projects into the space to become a household name on the precinct, allowing people a space to come back too if they have any questions about the plans.
We held an engagement programme to alternative between different projects, allowing people to chat about each individual project and give feedback. Many of the engagements focused on Dock Branch Masterplan, Birkenhead Waterfront & Surrounds, Conway Street / Europa Boulevard, Birkenhead Town Centre Masterplan, St. Werburgh’s Masterplan, Cleveland Street, Birkenhead Market and Grange Street. We also became a safe, warm space over the winter months with repeat visitors popping in for a cup of tea. Overall, we held 59 free events for the public, such as walking tours, art workshops, primary school visits, photo competitions and presentation evenings, to cater for a range of age groups.
Each project has its own individual report which will directly feed into the design for the retrospective project, meaning each visitor (4148 total visitors) has had their say in the future of different projects in Birkenhead. Overall, 55% people had never engaged in a project like this before, with some stating this was because they felt they were not able to due to lack of opportunity or because they had additional needs. While in the space, 92% of people felt they could give their views at BirkenEd’s Place because 98% of people said the activities were clear and easy to understand. With 98% of people telling us they enjoyed spending time at BirkenEd’s Place, the space became well-known and people will continue to come and visit the space, whether this is used for further engagement or events by the council.