St Helens approves £90m for town transformation

Senior councillors in St Helens approve a £90m funding package to kick-start the transformation of the town centre with new homes, market and a hotel. Tony McDonough reports

St Helens
Representatives from St Helens Council and English Cities funds show the plans


St Helens Council is to spend £90m on phase one A of its transformation of the town centre.

In May LBN revealed phase one of the project that would see the regeneration of 24 acres of the town centre. Plans include a new market, hotel, homes, retail space and offices in partnership with English Cities Fund (ECF).

This week the authority’s cabinet approved the funding for the first part of the scheme. The £90m includes £21.49m in grants from the Government and equity investment by ECF.

Phase one A will include a new market hall flanked by a mixed-use area. This will include a 120-bedroom globally-branded hotel, 64 new homes and 11,000 sq ft of retail space.

These different elements will all be linked together by improvements to public areas, alongside a new and extended bus station.

Around 485 new jobs are expected to be created across the development once it is fully occupied, generating an estimated £23.2m in GVA each year.

It is hoped the new buildings and public spaces will collectively act as a catalyst for the transformation of the town centre while improving the viability of future phases.

During the design stages, significant inflation has been experienced across the global economy. This includes increased interest rate charges for borrowing and significant rises in construction materials.

As the Council is committed to the delivery of the scheme, a pragmatic delivery solution has been found that divides the works into phase one A and phase one B.

The former includes the new market hall, homes, retail space, and bus station components, together with related and connecting public realm improvements.

The latter will see new offices and the refurbishment/reuse of the former Marks and Spencer building complete.


St Helens
Image showing the proposed regeneration of Market Street in St Helens


Cllr David Baines, leader of St Helens Council, said: “The investment demonstrates the absolute focus the council has on delivery against agreed priorities, listening to our communities and getting on with the job.

READ MORE: Leverhulme loses appeal on 788 Wirral homes plan

“What we have before us now is a long-awaited and much needed town centre transformation, one that will act as a catalyst for wider investment and regeneration.

“We have consulted widely, and market tested the best ideas for our area – all the while taking great care to ensure that ‘St Helensness’ is retained in the look and feel of everything we deliver.”

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