Councillors urged to agree to feasibility study for New Brighton seaside tidal pool project
A CRUNCH meeting will decide the future of a plan to bring a seaside tidal pool in New Brighton back into use.
Councillors will be asked tomorrow (Thursday) to allow funding allocated for the project to be used for a feasibility study.
The tidal pool, located on New Brighton beach at the bottom of Victoria Road, was last used more than 40 years ago and was damaged by vandals in the 1970s.
The proposals by Wellington Road Conservation Area Society won the most votes at a public meeting last April to decide where money from the Government’s Seaside Towns Grant initiative should be spent.
The group was set to receive £10,650 – but the project turned out to be more complex than expected.
Officials expressed concerns over whether the money would cover the full costs of the work and fear Wirral Council would be left a “significant ongoing liability” for maintaining the pool.
The project has won strong community support, with 900 people signing a petition calling for it to go ahead.
Joy Hockey, Wellington Road Conservation Area Society project manager and local historian, said: “The support from New Brighton residents for the tidal pool was amazing and reflects the desire to restore an amenity which will complement the new Marine Point development.
“We hope the tidal pool will be another valuable tourist attraction for the area and will play its part in the regeneration of New Brighton.”
The society wants to refurbish and repair the existing tidal pool wall so it can be used again as a paddling pool and small boating lake.
Council officers believe the feasibility study could be carried out for £6,000 – but that would leave a shortfall for the rest of the project.
The conservation society hopes to apply for external funding for the rest of the cost.
It has also suggested forming a Friends group to carry out safety inspections and opening it only in the summer to reduce running costs.
If cabinet members decide not to recommend the feasibility study, the grant money will pass to a Wallasey Sea Cadets project.
New Brighton Cllr Pat Glasman said: “These are issues which have only come to light since the original meeting. I understand the officers’ concerns and they are legitimate concerns.
“The project came top of the poll and it has still got a lot of public support.”