GAPE Equity brings heartbeat back to Birkenhead town centre

A Notts-based developer has introduced a much-loved charity into a multi-million-pound Birkenhead town centre development, signalling another boost for the area.

Nottingham firm, GAPE Equity, has announced that the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has taken up residence in a unit at the mixed-use building, which is on the corner of St John Street and Grange Road and is already home to Barclays, New Look and TK Maxx.

The move will make it even easier for the charity to help people living with heart and circulatory diseases.

It will see BHF, which also funds research into the conditions, relocate its furniture store from Milton Pavement to the 12,500 sq ft site.

The charity chose the unit for its size and central location, which is adjacent to the Pyramids Shopping Centre.

Chris Besant, leasing manager at the BHF, said: “Following a redevelopment proposal at our previous site, we decided to relocate our Birkenhead Home Store to a new location.

“This new site is an ideal size and location, meaning our nine members of staff and 19 volunteers can continue to sell preloved household items in the area, helping to beat heartbreak forever.

“We hope that our presence in the town will continue to benefit the local community and high street, while offering residents a hub for heart health information.

“The relocated store is set to open on November 3 and, once opened, we would urge people to consider donating any larger pieces of furniture, homewares or electricals they no longer have space to use. Your donations can help us raise vital funds for lifesaving research.”

The move was made possible thanks to Box Property Consultants, acting as an agent on behalf of the 117,000 sq ft building’s owner, GAPE Equity Ltd, a subsidiary of Nottingham-based ALB Group.

GAPE Equity bought the building for £1.5m last year and is already well-known for its regeneration of urban buildings in and around the Midlands.
The charity will be the first new name to open in the building’s vacant premises, which includes seven commercial units.

GAPE Equity is also in the process of creating 59 high-quality one and two-bed apartments on the two floors above the retail units, which had previously been office space.

Arran Bailey, managing director of GAPE, said: “I am delighted that the British Heart Foundation has signed the lease – the charity will be a great asset to the building.

“Following the pandemic, more and more people are looking to charity as many have lost their jobs, so it’s a great addition to be able to hand over this outlet to a fantastic charity that supports many people.

“And it’s also a bonus to be able to make another step to filling more premises and bringing vitality back to the town centre.”

Frankie Labbate, owner/director at Nottingham-based Box Property Consultants, said: “This completes our 32,000 sq ft of high street lettings on Grange Road to national retailers in 2020.

“As always, it was a pleasure working with our happy client, ALB and Gape.

“Box were bought in as letting agents upon purchase to turn around the fortunes of this previously struggling and highly vacant asset and have delivered results.”