The site of a demolished multistorey carpark in St Helens town centre will be transformed into a vibrant city-style leisure hub after planning permission was granted for up to seven years.
Located on the former Chalon Way multistorey carpark in Foundry Street, the £1m investment will see 51 containers and outdoor cinema screens installed to create a mixed-use leisure hub, which will be known as ‘The Foundry’, with stage and outside seating areas to provide business start-up, retail, and leisure units for independent businesses.
Complimenting the town centre’s already growing leisure offer – with independent street food area, Imperial Quarter, also set to open this summer – the project will be delivered by Steel Life Group Ltd who have an impressive track record, having overseen several other council-led container hubs around the UK.
In addition to a great new venue for St Helens town centre, the project will also deliver social economic benefits, including up to 100 full time jobs, while creating opportunities for young people.
Welcoming the decision, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, Councillor Richard McCauley, said:
“The Foundry will provide a much-needed boost to the town centre’s visitor profile, attracting people from inside and outside the borough into St Helens ahead of this area being developed as part of £200m town centre regeneration plans by the council and English Cities Fund.
“With so many promising regeneration projects on the horizon, we want to keep that momentum going and give people a reason to come into town. We believe this attraction will do just that and is just the start of many exciting things to come.”
Chris Lewis, Managing Director of Steel Life Group said: “At Steel Life Group we are delighted to obtain planning permission for this vibrant “meantime” use for Chalon Way and St Helens. The council planning team has been tremendous in supporting and assisting us with this planning application.
“We look forward to delivering new business jobs and community facilities which will enhance and breath more life into the town centre and create an active use of the space. We are looking forward to creating new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs and working with local business including the World of Glass and the Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to working with the Council to deliver this site as rapidly as possible.”
With planning permission now granted, The Foundry is expected to be up and running this autumn.