Work to restore one of St Helens Borough’s most iconic landmark buildings will get underway in April.
In October 2019, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet committed to a five-stage restoration programme to bring Earlestown Town Hall back into use that will complement game-changing regeneration plans for Earlestown town centre – which also boasts a famous, historic weekly market.
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.
With a contractor now in place, Merseyside-based EFT Systems Ltd, almost £980,000 of external repairs will be carried out 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.
The final future stage of the project will see internal work undertaken before the building can reopen to the public.
Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Richard McCauley, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, said: “Earlestown Town Hall is rightly 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.
“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.”
Councillor Sev Gomez-Aspron, Deputy Leader of St Helens Borough Council and a local ward councillor for Newton-le-Willows, added:
“Bringing Earlestown Town Hall back to life has been an ambition for some time, so to get to this stage, with all the obstacles thrown at us during the past couple of years with covid, is a proud moment and I’m looking forward to seeing the end result.
“Heritage gives us a sense of place and belonging – that’s why it’s vitally important landmarks like Earlestown Town Hall are protected and preserved at all costs – and that’s what we as a council are committed to doing.
“With fresh, modern redevelopment plans for Earlestown Town Centre to come – it’s historic buildings like the town hall that residents will always hold dear, and it will play a vital role in an exciting future for Earlestown.”
External work to restore Earlestown Town Hall will begin in April 2022 with an expected completion date of late autumn 2022.