The partnership will now spend the next six months on masterplanning to understand the borough’s needs and priorities, along with identifying the potential first phases of regeneration to be developed in the two town centres of St Helens and Earlestown.
Labour’s David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “At the beginning of March we announced our game-changing partnership with The English Cities Fund, then two weeks later we found ourselves amid an economy changed profoundly by the impact of Covid-19. The need to regenerate our borough as a whole has never been greater and as we look towards resetting our future, this long-term partnership over 20 years will help us to do that better than many other towns and cities.
“The initial focus will be on transforming our town centres then expanding across the borough and bringing about the change in our borough that we know our residents are keen to see. Throughout the summer we have been working closely on shaping plans that will fit into a post pandemic world, and a detailed masterplan will be developed over the next six months, which will give St Helens Borough the opportunity to show others how future regeneration schemes will consider some of the fundamental economic shifts that have taken place at such pace because of Covid-19. Our aim is to regenerate our borough in a sustainable way that will support and create great places for people to live and work.
“I am delighted we’ve now been able to complete the legal requirements to finalise our partnership which we agreed in principle in March.”
Leon Guyett, development director at The English Cities Fund, said: “We’re at the next stage of our journey with our new partners at St Helens Borough Council and we’re proud to reach this latest milestone. Our experience tells us that our unique model will enable partners to bring forward long-term solutions that will drive growth, opportunities and community wealth at a time it’s needed most.
“St Helens is a proud borough steeped in history, but with a real aspiration to bring innovative spaces and places to the borough, which is in the fund’s DNA. We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with the council as we work together over the next six months to create a draft masterplan, which will be subject to a consultation exercise in the future.”
The English Cities Fund is a national strategic joint venture between leading urban regenerator, Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England. The fund is currently delivering some of the most complex and most successful urban regeneration projects across the UK. Following its expansion in 2018, it continues to take on large, complex sites, to create inspiring new places.
CBRE acted on behalf of St Helens Council.