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Town centres to come to life again through new partnership

Article date - 23 July 2021

St Helens and Earlestown town centres will come to life with festivals, parklets and exciting virtual trails throughout the rest of this year.
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St Helens Borough Council will host a range of events as part of a programme to encourage people and families into the town centres to make the most of the captivating events and support local businesses at the same time. 

The council will be working in partnership with Night Time Economy Solutions who will provide a wide range of activities and projects suitable for all ages which aim to revitalise the town centres of the borough. 

From the creation of digital support for businesses through an easy to use app that customers can use for everything from identifying where and when to visit a venue through to augmented reality trails which bring characters to life and form part of a wider digital plan to support businesses in the borough. 

There will also be plans in place to support businesses with a Covid-19 Nightlife Aware Accreditation Scheme, which will give customers confidence that venues are doing what they can to keep them safe. This will then lead to the development of the Best Bar None scheme for licensed premises which promotes a safe environment for visitors to the borough. 

These activities are funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Town Centre Fund and by the European Regional Development Fund.

Councillor Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “Our town centres have a diverse range of businesses who have been impacted by the pandemic, from hospitality venues having to close their doors through to our taxi drivers who have felt the knock on effect from this. So as part of our approach to recovery it’s vital that we think about how we can improve things for every business and this package will make a huge difference, not just in terms of support, but also in increasing visitors to our borough again. Now the important thing is that we all play our part and act with kindness and patience when supporting these events.” 

Councillor Kate Groucutt, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Education, said: “These projects are designed to bring a new feel to our town centres and act to bring people back into these areas again after so long away. The aim is to make sure these events make people feel safe about coming back and rediscovering all the fantastic businesses we have. The business community in these areas will be a key partner across all of these projects and will have a number of opportunities to get involved. These events and the diverse package of activity is a key part of our Economic Reset and Recovery Plan which was approved at Cabinet last week and shows our commitment to providing practical support to help businesses who have been heavily impacted by the pandemic grow.” 

The first piece of the changing town centres landscapes will be parklets springing up in the borough and residents and businesses are being encouraged to get involved in their development.  

Joanne Cox-Brown, Director of Night Time Economy Solutions, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with St Helens Borough Council, this is such an exciting and creative project for us as a team, as many of our team are based in the area so it feels very much like we are working at home. The aim of this project is to help businesses across the town centres through an innovative programme of activities of physical and digital support that will help re-energise the economy which has been heavily affected by the pandemic. As well as bringing communities together again by drawing people back to our town centres in a safe way with engaging events the work will help to shine a spotlight on the local gems that St Helens and Earlestown town centres have to offer. Building on the strength of community support St Helens has seen in the last 18 months there will be opportunities for people to get involved from volunteering through to interactive sessions. To find out more email events@nighttimeeconomy.com.”