Regeneration is a key part of our plans to build back better.
St Helens and Earlestown deserve town centres to be proud of, we all want local high streets to thrive and a vibrant local economy, and residents across the borough deserve access to job opportunities, quality housing, and transport.
In the last 18 months we’ve taken big steps forward, including:
Signing a 20-year partnership deal with English Cities Fund. This is the first time the Council has had a legal agreement with a partner who can make major regeneration a reality. The partnership was agreed in principle last March, and legal agreements were signed in December. Find out more about English Cities Fund: https://englishcitiesfund.co.uk/
In the summer we will be publishing masterplans for redevelopment of St Helens in Earlestown town centres. Work on these exciting plans is currently ongoing with our regeneration partners English Cities Fund.
Like all other residents we’ve had enough of false dawns and that’s why we’re not sharing more fancy CGI images and artists impressions. It would be the easiest thing to do just before an election! But we want to share solid plans for things that will happen, and that’s what we are working on.
We’ve worked with local private, public and third sector partners to develop a £38m town deal bid which was submitted to government in February.
St Helens has a rich industrial heritage and one we are keen to promote and protect, but one negative of this rich heritage is the vast majority of our brownfield sites are very heavily contaminated and notoriously difficult to bring forward to development ever since the Tory/Lib Dem government coalition cut the funding to clear up these sites. However, thanks to our efforts we have worked to bring brownfield sites back into use for quality housing developments including Waterside Village, The Vulcan works site, Moss Nook and Cowley Hill.
We’ve set up a £10m fund for strategic purchases to kickstart regeneration.
We’ve begun demolishing Chalon Way car park which will open up the historic canal area in the town centre for the first time in decades. It’s been hidden away for far too long, and plans for the future of the site are being developed in partnership with town centre businesses.
Working with Glass Futures Ltd we successfully lobbied government for investment for a world first – a dedicated Research & Development Facility for reducing Green House Gas emissions in the Glass Manufacturing industry, fighting off competition from other local authorities in the process. This project is now fully funded with help from investment from our Labour Council, Liverpool City Region and central government. On the back of this your Labour Council are currently working to secure Glass Futures Phase 2 which will be a dedicated facility for the development of Medical Glass where production issues have been highlighted during the Covid pandemic. We are also at an advanced stage in talks with other Foundation Industries to locate their research and development facilities to St Helens. Find out more on Glass Futures: https://www.glass-futures.org/global-centre-of-excellence.
We’ve agreed a Local Plan which is ambitious for new jobs, homes, growth and infrastructure, at the same time as protecting the vast majority of the borough’s greenbelt and every one of our amazing parks.
We’re delivering on the 30 year promise of the former Parkside colliery site in Newton-le-Willows, with the site being put forward as one of just a handful for a potential new Freeport. The freeport bid builds on the borough’s advanced manufacturing capability and will help bring a range of high-quality jobs in areas such as design and engineering to Newton-le-Willows and the wider area. The Freeport will also maximise future opportunities in hydrogen, and clean power, ensuring that our borough’s net zero ambitions can be achieved. The aim is that Parkside will become a global beacon for investment in renewable technologies, providing sustainable jobs for future generations. This, together with our advanced plans for a Strategic Rail Freight Terminal on the Parkside site with delivery partner ISEC, will be a game changer not just for the Newton and St Helens but also the wider North West region.
We’re working to attract major investment to Omega on the M62 – with the end-user Home Bargains creating an estimated 1200 construction jobs in the development of the site, and more than 1000 new jobs – many high skill, high pay – when fully operational. In addition to also providing £1.8m for Bold Forest Park and creating a new public nature conservation and woodland area adjacent to the site, Home Bargains are committed to a local employment scheme and are also contributing £750,000 towards a bus service from St Helens to Omega to help enable local residents to access jobs there.
As part of the City Region working with Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram we’ve agreed a £30m investment in digital infrastructure, aiming to make our region the most digitally connected in the UK and boosting the local economy by £1bn.
We’re working with partners to invest £15m in major improvements to Lea Green station, including improvements to local walking and cycling routes. We’re also investing more than £1m in improvements to walking and cycling routes across the borough.
And we’ve agreed significant funding and are busy making preparations for necessary repairs to the Gamble Building and Earlestown Town Hall. We said we were committed to protecting them both, and we meant it.
Labour are delivering for our borough.