Demolition of the eye-sore car park is an important step in the wider development plans for the area and will create opportunities to make the Sankey Canal area not only visible but a potential attractive ‘hub’ for the future redevelopment of the town centre.
The site will be completely resurfaced, and have lighting, CCTV, power and water installed ready for use by early summer, ready to house pop up stalls and units for local traders as well as providing a space for local artists, musicians, entertainers, and performers. It is also hoped the site could be home to a fan zone for the Rugby League World Cup in October and November with games taking place at the nearby Totally Wicked Stadium.
Town centre businesses who are interested in knowing more about plans for the site and how they might get involved and be able to benefit directly or indirectly can contact Roy Benyon on Roybenyon@sthelens.gov.uk. In addition, any individuals or groups within the local arts, music or entertainment sectors who think they may be able to use this space can also express an interest in the same way.
Meetings and further discussions will take place with interested parties on the potential development of the site in the weeks ahead.
Cllr Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning said: “The space at Chalon Way provides a real opportunity for short term ‘meanwhile uses’ for the site to be developed, which can support businesses struggling to get back on their feet after what has been the most difficult year of trading yet.
“We will continue to develop our longer-term plans to transform the town centre, but while those take shape, there is the more immediate issue of using the available space to good advantage over the summer months.
“The space could provide a great reason to encourage people back into the town centre. People enjoy spending time with family and friends eating, drinking, people watching, and listening to music and this site could provide the ideal opportunity for this to take place in St Helens, like it has to great advantage in other locations up and down the country.”
Commenting on the role that the arts can play in regenerating an area, Cllr Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage said: “The potential to use this space is yet again an example of the exciting regeneration plans we have for our borough.
“The arts play an important role in helping to improve our town centres and enrich people’s lives and we will be looking forward to working with a wide variety of different individuals and groups to help expand on the artistic, cultural and heritage offer that this opportunity could bring to the town centre.”