A view of the new St Helens bus station looking down the new Market Street with Parish Church in the background
A view of the new St Helens bus station looking down the new Market Street with Parish Church in the background
Labour’s vision for the once-in-a-generation transformation of Earlestown and St Helens town centres has been resoundingly supported by the public.

St Helens Borough Council and its partner regeneration experts, English Cities Fund (ECF), launched Masterplan Development Frameworks for the regeneration of the two town centres in October last year. Public consultation on the proposals found that of those who responded, 88 per cent supported plans for St Helens town centre and 94 per cent supported those for Earlestown.

Both town centres are the subject of separate Masterplan Development Frameworks, which set out multi-million-pound visions and principles for each, and these will be presented to the council’s Labour Cabinet next Wednesday (2nd February).

The extensive public consultations, which took place in person across the borough as well as online, have helped enhance the plans after listening to feedback from businesses, residents and visitors about what they wanted to see.

The updated plans now include for new high quality parking provision in St Helens town centre that will cater for shoppers and night time visitors alike, and working closely with traders on the right type of weather-proof market space for the historic Earlestown Market.

Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, said: “Thank you so much to those who took the time to look at the plans, we know that there were more than 38,000 views of the plans online with more than 400 comments made on the back of viewing the plans. It is clear that businesses and residents in our borough are behind these plans and this is already building confidence in our local economy that our vision will bring real, positive change for our borough.   

“There were some valid points raised in the consultation and we’ve listened to that feedback. While we want to encourage more people to use public transport with improved bus and train connectivity as part of our vision for a greener, more environmentally friendly borough, we recognise the need for quality car parking, particularly in St Helens town centre. The new plan will provide safe parking day and night to make sure visitors can make the most of all attractions.  

“We also recognise that people think that town centre living means only apartments, but our plans are to provide a mix that includes town house style family living to add more variety to the types of housing available in the borough.  

“Our outline proposals for a partially covered market space in Earlestown have been endorsed and this will enable the plans to be developed with the market traders to find the right size and design of facility to support this jewel of the town centre.  

“The message throughout the consultation has been clear to us and our partners at ECF that residents and businesses want to see us get moving, and if the frameworks are approved we hope to put forward planning applications in the coming months.” 

The English Cities Fund (ECF) is a national development joint venture between leading urban regenerator, Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England.

The first phase in St Helens town centre will include:

  • An enhanced sense of arrival with a new bus station
  • A newmarket hall in the centre of the town
  • New high quality office space
  • High quality homes for town centre living
  • An international hotel brand
  • Extensive public realm improvements

The first phase in Earlestown town centre will include:

  • Enhancing Market Square with a partially covered market area, flexible events space and landscape improvements
  • Improvements to key high streets between the rail station and the Market Square to make the environment more welcoming and pedestrian friendly in support of local businesses

Following the publication of the masterplans, work is continuing to support existing businesses that may be affected by the transformation, alongside progression on a number of acquisitions to deliver the first phase of the masterplans.

The updated frameworks will be examined at a Cabinet meeting next Wednesday, 2 February. To see the updated frameworks visit Agenda for Cabinet on Wednesday, 2nd February, 2022, 4.00 pm St Helens Borough Council 

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