External works to restore one of the borough’s most iconic buildings is set to be completed in the new year.
St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet committed to a five-stage programme to bring the Grade II listed Earlestown Town Hall back into use, complementing the game-changing regeneration plans for Earlestown town centre that boasts a famous historic weekly market dating back more than 700 years.
The £1m capital-funded project – meaning money earmarked for investments and not to run essential council services – started earlier this year and with scaffolding due to come down, noticeable improvements include:
- a facelift to the town hall’s four-sided clock tower
- eye-catching brick repointing and repairs to original architectural terracotta
- brand new windows in line with the building’s character
- repairs to the roofing, chimneys and rain gutters.
Meanwhile, significant timber treatments have been carried out to add stability and tackle problems of dry rot, and a new box feature has been fitted at the top of the town hall to support its original wind vane.
Merseyside-based contractor, EFT Systems Ltd, have overseen the works, with a local workforce and supply chains that has led to a number of local apprenticeship opportunities, supporting the council’s commitment to delivering social value to ensure residents, businesses, and communities benefit from its investments.
Commenting on a recent site visit, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, Councillor Richard McCauley, said:
“It was a great experience to get a behind the scenes tour to get a closer look at the work that has been done to date to such a high standard, even stepping foot on the same stage The Beatles performed on here in 1962.
“Earlestown Town Hall is a landmark building which is too iconic to just stand there idle, that’s why we committed to bringing it back to life, to protect our heritage and plan for an exciting future.”
Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron, Deputy Leader of St Helens Borough Council and a local ward councillor for Newton-le-Willows, added: “Every town and village in the borough have buildings that are key to their identity. Some in private ownership, some in council ownership – and we must always do everything we can to protect and preserve our identity and heritage.
“It was fascinating to see how much the work has progressed at Earlestown Town Hall, as well as meet the local apprentices taken on to work on the project.
“This has been a long-term project, in line with our ambitions as a council to bring Earlestown Town Hall back into use, it shows that we are committed to protecting and preserving our heritage.
“I cannot wait to see the building when the scaffold comes down, and then the progress on the next steps with the repurposing refurbishment. This will allow the local community to use the building again, with groups such as NADOS hopefully coming back home to Newton-le-Willows.”
External works are expected to be completed by spring 2023, with exciting internal repurposing works planned for the next phase of improvements.