In October 2021, the council went out to tender for a contractor to create and operate a food and drink offer utilising upcycled shipping containers as a meanwhile use on the former Chalon Way carpark in Foundry Street – and we are pleased to announce that Steel Life Group Ltd. has been confirmed as the successful contractor.
Steel Life Group Ltd. has an impressive track record as the operator of the popular SteelYard Kelham project in Sheffield, and as the appointed delivery partner for a number of other council-led container hubs around the UK.
The investment, totalling almost £1m, will see the formation of a vibrant new events space and retail hub that brings together a mix of local and regional independent businesses in a quirky industrial setting, offering everything from an outside cinema; street food and fine dining experiences; bars and an outside terrace – to artisan studios and boutique retailers, with business start-up and mentoring also available onsite.
The aim of the project is to boost St Helens’ visitor profile, and attract residents and visitors to St Helens town centre in advance of this area being developed as part of £200m town centre regeneration plans announced recently by the council and English Cities Fund.
In addition to a great new venue the project will also deliver social economic benefits, including more than 100 full time jobs, while creating opportunities for young people.
Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Richard McCauley, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, said: “This partnership with Steel Life Group Ltd. ticks all the right boxes for us and will bring a city lifestyle feel to St Helens town centre, once up and running.
“The site was put to good use over the Christmas period, drawing families in from all over the borough to enjoy a festive programme of entertainment, from an drive-in cinema to a synthetic ice rink – so we want to keep that momentum and feel-good atmosphere in the town centre going, which this project will achieve as we look to attract more families into St Helens and continue to deliver bigger and better than ever before, and this is a sign of brighter things to come.”
Chris Lewis, Managing Director of Steel Life Group said: “At Steel Life Group we are delighted to be appointed to deliver this incredible “meantime” use for Chalon Way and St Helens. The success and vibrancy will enhance the town centre and create an active use of the space to compliment the World of Glass adjacent site. We look forward to working with the council to deliver this site with first units on site summer 2022.”
Once Steel Life Group Ltd. meet all of the statutory obligations, Steel Life (St Helens) is expected to be up and running by early summer 2022.