Regeneration Sport & Leisure

Will £450 million tourism boost for Wirral benefit West Kirby & Hoylake?

By Emma Gunby at

Wirral Council is set to agree a new plan next week to increase the number of visitors to the borough.

This should be welcome news for restaurateurs, hoteliers and others who’d like a share of projected annual tourism revenue of £450 million.

The Wirral Visitor Economy Strategy – created by local tourism businesses, industry experts, the Wirral Chamber of Commerce and Wirral Council – will see new promotions, events and attractions developed, to increase the value of Wirral’s visitor economy to £450 million per year by 2020.

Hilbre Island

Hilbre Island – the jewel in the crown of Wirral’s tourist attractions?

Already the fastest-growing tourism destination in the region, the new strategy describes how the borough will focus on increasing overnight visitors, targeting younger and family groups, and increasing the amount of corporate and conference business attracted to the peninsula.

Cllr Phill Brightmore, Wirral’s cabinet member for Environment which also covers tourism and the visitor economy, said: “I think we all sometimes take for granted just how special Wirral is. We are surrounded by stunning coast and countryside, unique garden villages, fantastic food and drink and places to stay – including the only Michelin star restaurant and 5 star hotel in Merseyside – and we are perfectly positioned between Liverpool, Chester and Manchester.

“It is about time we started telling people about Wirral, and encouraging people from all across the UK and Europe to discover our unique peninsula. This strategy will help us massively, it will attract thousands of new visitors to the borough and help our award-winning and dedicated tourism businesses create many new jobs for local residents.”

Stunning shot of Royal Liverpool Golf Club http://kevinmurraygolfphotography.com

The world famous Royal Liverpool Golf Club http://kevinmurraygolfphotography.com

Paula Basnett, CEO of Wirral Chamber of Commerce, led the group of industry experts who developed the strategy. Paula said: “I would like to thank the many regional and national experts who gave us their time and expertise to develop this strategy. I would also like to pay tribute to the local tourism businesses which have done and will continue to do so much to develop our visitor economy.

“We are extremely lucky in Wirral. Our food and drink offer is second to none; great restaurants, award-winning producers and breweries offering some of the most diverse and locally produced food in the UK.

“We have to capitalise on this, shout about Wirral’s offer and make sure we promote what a fabulous place this is to visit and enjoy. This strategy helps us do it, and I am delighted to be able to lead its delivery.”

A well-deserved ice cream after hours tidying West Kirby beach

Ice cream on West Kirby beach

How can the West Kirby and Hoylake area make sure it profits from this initiative and becomes more tourist friendly? Answers on a holiday postcard or, preferably, via the West Kirby Today Facebook page.

The Wirral Visitor Economy will be considered by the council’s cabinet on Monday, 19 June.