Dating back to 1892, the Grade II listed building – a rich part of Newton-le-Willows’ heritage which once staged The Beatles – was closed in 2008 by a former council administration to meet budget savings.
In October 2019, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet committed to a five-stage restoration programme to bring Earlestown Town Hall back into use to complement game-changing regeneration plans for the town centre – which also boasts a famous, historic weekly market – with the public showing their support to the plans following an extensive community consultation exercise.
To date, two 1960’s rear annex buildings – not in keeping with the town hall’s architectural form – have been demolished, with the next stage awarding the construction contract for external fabric repair works which will see improvements made to the roofing, chimneys, rainwater goods, windows and architectural terracotta. While repointing and significant timber treatments – together with cleaning and conservation of historical ornate decoration – will also feature as part of the programme.
Given the building’s listed status, external fabric repair design proposals look to maximise conservation and reuse of existing materials wherever possible.
The final stage of the project will see internal work carried out.
Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, said:
“Earlestown Town Hall is seen as a focal point and symbol of Earlestown’s proud heritage and identity. That’s why this council has committed to restore this iconic building to help the town return to its former glory.
“We know from consultation feedback that local residents value the importance of retaining Earlestown’s heritage – the town hall being a key feature of this and bringing it back into use is a commitment in our Borough Strategy and the Earlestown Town Centre Masterplan Development Framework, which I’m proud to say has now been adopted by Cabinet.
“Residents want to see positive changes made to our borough, particularly in our town centres, which we’re delivering through a number of regeneration projects, including this one, as we look forward to an exciting future.”
External work is expected to start in Spring this year, with an expected completion date of Autumn.