So far Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has invested £2.8m in the regeneration of Kirkby town centre which will see retail outlets and a new cinema, creating hundreds of jobs. Tony McDonough reports
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is to pump an extra £2.8m into the regeneration of Kirkby town centre in a project that will create hundreds of new jobs.
In December 2019 the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority put in £10m to support Knowsley Council purchase of a large town centre site. Phase one will deliver 94,000 sq ft of retail space for Morrisons, a petrol station, Home Bargains, KFC and Taco Bell.
Those businesses will create around 500 jobs, in addition to 278 in the construction phase. Now Mr Rotheram has approved the extra funding for the construction of a multi-screen cinema and food and beverage outlets on the site of the former Kirkby Library.
This latest phase will see the creation of 108 construction jobs and 95 permanent jobs Work on the site has been progressing throughout the pandemic with the units really starting to take shape in the town centre with steel structures, cladding, roofing and glazing now visible.
Mr Rotheram said: “When we announced our support for this project last year we made it clear that we would be prepared to back further stages of regeneration. Knowsley Council has come up with a superb addition to the first phase of the scheme that will be transformational.
“I’m so happy to see the regeneration of the ‘Townie’ is moving into this second phase and I’m so proud that we are playing a part in backing this much-needed development to the area I grew up in. These are uncertain times for all businesses and I’m pleased we have been able to make sure that this vital scheme continues.”
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council Regeneration and Economic Development Cabinet Member, added: “Earlier this year, we asked residents what they would like to see in Kirkby town centre. As well as a supermarket, people asked for a cinema and a greater choice of food and drink outlets.
“We have taken on board this feedback and have been working behind the scenes on the cinema scheme. We already have planning permission in place and our next priority was securing the funding.
“So today marks another significant milestone in our plans for Kirkby town centre with funding secured from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority – we will now get on with the scheme itself.”