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Angela Eagle
Angela Eagle Constitueuncy

Constituency - The History of Wallasey

 

Wallasey is located in the north-east of the Wirral Peninsula and contains the six wards of Wallasey, Liscard, New Brighton, Seacombe, Leasowe and Moreton. Wallasey is certainly an area of contrasts ranging from docklands to residential and council estates to seaside resorts. With a population of around 60,000 Wallasey is a vibrant and interesting place to live and has seen large scale investment and redevelopment in the last decade.

The years of Conservative rule had devastated the industry and employment in the area, however, and nearly one in five of the working population were unemployed. In 1992, Angela was elected for Wallasey defeating the sitting Conservative MP and Government Minister, Lynda Chalker, in an election that saw a turnout of over 82 percent of the electorate.

 

Early History

In the 19th Century the area that we now call Wallasey consisted of several distinct districts such as Poulton, Egremont, New Brighton and Liscard. As each of these towns grew they gradually merged to form one built up area.

It was at around this time that Wallasey became an important defensive point for the growing port of Liverpool. Fort Perch Rock was built in 1829 and remains to this day as a tourist attraction. Liscard Battery followed shortly afterwards in 1858 and housed seven 10-inch guns but was sold in 1912 after becoming obsolete. Although houses have since been built on the site the curtain wall and gatehouse remain as a reminder of Wallasey’s marine history. Wallasey’s docklands, constructed between 1842 and 1933, became the focus for engineering such as shipbuilding and sugar refining.

 

Later History

With the expansion of the rail network and supported by the presence of the Mersey Ferries, it is easy to see how New Brighton became a popular seaside resort in the late 19th Century. Serving Liverpool and Lancashire’s industrial towns, thousands would flock to the shores of New Brighton to visit its popular visitor attractions. In 1900 New Brighton boasted the tallest tower in the country with New Brighton Tower perched on top of the tower ballrooms. The tower closed in 1919 and was later demolished by fire. The loss of the tower did little to affect the popularity of the tower ballroom which continued as a popular venue until the 1960’s and played host to many of Liverpool’s musical stars including the Beatles.

Although there were many good transport links with Liverpool in the 1960s the Birkenhead road tunnel could no longer cope with the volume of traffic and work began on the Wallasey tunnel in 1966 and completed by 1971.

 

The Future for Wallasey

Wallasey is again going through a period of transformation with massive investment and regeneration planned over the next 30 years. This change has already begun to take place with the new Floral Pavilion Theatre that forms part of the first stage of Neptune’s £70m regeneration of New Brighton. As part of the whole package New Brighton will benefit from a new bar and restaurant quarter, hotel and conference facilities, improved marine lake and promenade, a town square and refurbishment of the Victorian shelter. These exiting developments will again make New Brighton a popular visitor attraction.

On top of this, the largely disused Wirral docklands are set to receive a £4.5bn facelift that will transform the area into a vibrant exciting place to live and work. The planned regeneration will see major investment in high quality residential and office space that will create thousands of new homes and attract business from all over the world. A substantial part of this investment will see a 28 acre leisure and retail centre located at Bidston dock that will complement the regeneration of New Brighton and protect Wallasey’s unique character.