The footprint of the Hardshaw Centre forms a key part of the first phase of redevelopment which will see a wide avenue opening up the space from an improved bus station to the heart of Church Square.
Councillor Richard McCauley, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, said: “The council has negotiated the purchase of Hardshaw Shopping Centre, to allow delivery of Phase one of the St Helens Town Centre Masterplan Development Framework.
“This exciting masterplan, adopted by Cabinet in recent weeks sets in motion the once in a lifetime regeneration of St Helens town centre, with a separate, equally ambitious masterplan for Earlestown town centre.
“The purchase of the Hardshaw Centre – alongside purchase of several other properties in the area, with negotiations ongoing – paves the way for the creation of new high-quality office spaces and homes, an international hotel brand, a revitalised market hall and an enhanced bus station.
“Feedback from residents on the proposals for both town centre redevelopments has been resoundingly positive – and with the frameworks now approved at Cabinet, we hope to put forward planning applications in the coming weeks.”
Council Leader David Baines says: “This is another big step forward for our regeneration plans. It’s important to be clear – we’re buying the Hardshaw Centre to knock it down and replace it with modern retail space, a hotel, office accommodation, a new market and more. It’s a long process but we’re making great strides forward.”