A new Liverpool city region ‘sustainable travel hub’ could lead to the creation of 500 jobs. Tony McDonough reports
Plans for a ‘sustainable travel hub’ for Kirkby town centre could lead to the creation of up to 350 jobs, it is claimed.
On Friday (June 10) Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) will be asked to approve a further £2.2m investment to redevelop an existing multi-storey car park. Plans include long-stay parking, electric vehicle charging, and cycle storage.
This is being seen as “the final piece in the jigsaw” of the £15m redevelopment of the town centre. Once delivered it is hoped it will increase the chances of attracting a new tenant to the former Barclaycard building, providing 350 to 500 jobs.
Knowsley Council acquired Kirkby town centre for £33.8m, with the CA providing £10m. It then set about a redevelopment project. This has led to a 45,000 sq ft Morrisons superstore, a petrol station, car park, a 20,000 sq ft Home Bargains and Taco Bell and KFC drive-thru restaurants.
The CA then allocated a further £2.8m to support the development of a multi-screen cinema. It is hoped that this final instalment will create an attractive gateway to the town centre.
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “I’m delighted that the remaining £2.2m has been recommended for approval.
“It’s many people’s first impression of the town so it’s essential that we create the right image for residents, visitors, businesses and investors alike.
“Since purchasing the town centre in November 2019, we have delivered a retail development, created more free car parking spaces and attracted more businesses into the town. Our multi-screen cinema scheme is also progressing.”
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram added: “Kirkby’s revival over the last few years has been something of a renaissance. Having grown up in the area, I know the real, positive difference this investment is having on the Townie.”