BIRKENHEAD MP Frank Field has added his voice to a campaign launched by the Grange and Pyramids shopping centres aimed at promoting the town.
Derek Millar, commercial director at the shopping centres, said We Love Birkenhead would bring retailers and residents together to spread the message that Birkenhead was "a fantastic place to live, work and shop".
The campaign will draw on support from celebrities, sports stars and business leaders with a link to Birkenhead as well as community stalwarts.
Like many town centres Birkenhead has suffered during the recession, with the demise of major chains like Woolworths and Peacocks and other big names like Currys and Topshop closing their stores to concentrate on branches in out of town retail parks – but Mr Millar said the future was "looking very bright".
The shopping centres recently had a change of ownership and are now being managed by LaSalle Investment Management.
Mr Millar said: "With so much doom and gloom in the news these days, we wanted to find a way of celebrating the many positive things about the town and community, which is a home and workplace to so many people.
"The new company is very committed to looking at a long term and solid strategy for the future of the shopping centres.
“Our campaign is all about celebrating the many virtues of the town and underlining how important the shopping centres are to the community they serve, not only as a place to buy the things you need but also as a social hub and major employer.
“It is an exciting time to be part of the team here and the future is looking very bright indeed.”
Mr Millar said Birkenhead's new Asda store had been a "positive development" and there was more to come.
He said: "In the last week, Next has opened its new, extended children's wear section, which has created three new jobs and gained the store an extra 2,000 square foot of trading space. It has also signed a ten-year lease underlining its commitment to the centre for the next decade.
"Poundland has opened a new store in the former Peacocks unit which is creating 19 new jobs for the town.
"We are also very close to signing up a new retailer for the former TJ Hughes store and terms have been agreed with two retailers for the former Currys unit.
"The new Asda store has, in many ways, been a positive development for the centres because it has brought new customers into the town which we have benefited from. The key aim for us is to make sure we continue to encourage those customers to the Grange and Pyramids and we will achieve this by continuing to offer a good mix of retailers and services which make us different to other shopping centres."
Mr Field said: "My affection for Birkenhead, since I came here more than 30 years ago, has always been the same. I have always had this sense that it is a place where people feel a very strong sense of identity.
"The people here are very proud of their town and while they like Liverpool, they love Birkenhead and that message has always been very loud and clear.
“I can’t tell you how pleased I am to hear there has been a change of ownership for the shopping centres and to hear about their commitment to a duty of care in the long term."
Mr Millar added: "The long term plan and focus is to continue to build on the great range of shops, both individual and well-known high street names, which we have at the centres, coupled with a terrific range of eateries.
"This varied mix of retailers and restaurants is what keeps our loyal customers coming back and we are working very hard to continue bringing in new businesses for our shoppers to choose from."