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St Helens Projects for £6m Liverpool City Region Town Centre Fund Announced

Article date - 25 July 2019

St Helens Council has put forward Earlestown and St Helens town centre to benefit from up to £1 million investment from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s £6m Town Centre Fund.
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At its meeting on Friday, 26 July, the Combined Authority will be asked to approve up to £6 million – up to £1 million for each of its six local authorities – to support plans to revitalise town centres across the Liverpool City Region.

The Combined Authority agreed to commission the £6 million fund in October last year and since then the local authorities have been working up high-level investment programmes, identifying which town centres they wish to nominate, along with proposals for what they intend to do.

Those interventions include masterplan strategies, public realm improvements, physical and digital infrastructure, business support, town centre management and events and marketing activities.

St Helens Council has put forward plans to transform Earlestown by building on its Victorian railway heritage, while making the canal the focus of regeneration of St Helens town centre.

More detail of the plans for each of these areas is provided in the table below.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“Our high streets were once the beating heart of our communities. But with the rise of new technologies and changing customer habits – they face a stark choice: modernisation or further decline.

“That is why we have introduced this £6 million fund – to reimagine and reshape what our town centres look like in the 21st century.  By working with our local authorities we can take action to ensure they thrive over the next 20 years.

“We must ensure that every part of our region prospers – and that is why we’ve ensured each borough receives exactly the same amount from this fund.”

Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Council, said:

“I want St Helens Borough to be a place we’re all proud to call home. I believe we’ve got a lot to offer, but it’s clear that our town centres are in urgent need of attention and improvement. Regeneration is essential.

“I’m determined we’ll do all we can to transform them not just so they’re attractive for shoppers but so they’re desirable destinations, for people both locally and from around the region to come and socialise and spend quality time in our borough.”

 

The projects put forward by St Helens are detailed below:

 

 

Project

 

 

Proposed activity

 

 

St Helens Council

 

 

 

 

 

St Helens town centre – The vision for St Helens town centre produced in 2017 called „Transforming Our Town‟ that was built on a recognised need to increase activities such as arts, leisure and education as well as an ambitious plan to transform the urban form. The approach seeks to make the Canal (the oldest modern canal in the world) a key feature within the regeneration plans and the Council have taken active steps to bring under their ownership key sites as they move towards delivery.

 

 

·    Accommodation     of    retail    configuration    and associated assets

 

·    Introduction of Town Centre 'St Helens Team'

 

·    Contribution to redevelopment masterplan/delivery plan

 

·    Contribution to new public realm/art work

 

·    Creative use of Shop fronts

 

·    'Street ahead' Identify key priority area in Town Centre (s) to promote business growth through business rate reductions, improvements grants and potential BID areas

 

 

Earlestown (Newton-le-Willows) - is a centre of historical significance as the first railway junction station in the world on what is the oldest inter-city railway line. Building on the heritage of Earlestown is a key part of the plan for this Town Centre which includes a Victorian town hall and one of the oldest markets in the region as well as the railway history of the location. The proposed activities for Earlestown has the aim of creating a sustainable, modern, vibrant and attractive town centre.

 

 

·    Contribution to redevelopment masterplan/delivery plan

 

·    Contribution to new public realm/art work

 

·    Creative use of Shop fronts

 

·    'Street ahead' Identify key priority area in Town Centre (s) to promote business growth through business rate reductions, improvements grants and potential BID areas