A major developer has promised to give help, advice and support to New Ferry after March’s devastating explosion.

Liverpool-based Ion Property Developments Limited has offered to help Wirral Council and Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham shape a regeneration plan for the town centre.

Managing Director of Ion, Steve Parry, lives close to New Ferry and was all too aware that the centre was already suffering before the explosion.

Mr Parry said: “As a regular customer, I know that some of the businesses destroyed in the blast, such as Griffiths’ butchers and Lan’s House Chinese restaurant, were some of the most appealing and appreciated businesses in the town.

“We need to look at how New Ferry can become a vibrant, sustainable place for people to live, shop and spend their leisure time.

“New Ferry has suffered greatly from the growth of out of town retail parks which have influenced a change in shopping habits.

“We want to offer our help, advice and support to help turn this terrible disaster into a new beginning for New Ferry.”

As well as committing to support the development of an ambitious plan for New Ferry, Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram has announced it would pledge £20,000 to the disaster relief fund created by local charity New Beginnings, which will contribute to the short-term relief and the human impact of the explosion.

The firm, formerly Neptune Developments, is a well-known expert in regeneration, and is currently working on the Lime Street area in Liverpool. It previously donated its expertise and resources to develop the Rhys Jones Community Centre, Croxteth.

Ion also has a long-established track record of regeneration on the Wirral.

 The specialist developers will be able to contribute extensive expertise to devise a strategic masterplan for the area and support public-sector partners who are also hoping to regenerate New Ferry.

More than 30 people were injured including two seriously, and 100 people had to be evacuated from their nearby homes following the suspected gas blast which happened on March 25.