The transformation plans for St Helens Borough will ‘see this town deliver on its ample potential as a strategic hub in the north west’ according to a top town centre boss.

If the proposals suggested within the strategy were to be delivered, it would cost in the region of £300 million to transform the town.

This money would be realised through a combination of both public and private funding streams.

The Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) Chief Executive Officer Ojay McDonald paid a visit to St Helens to see first-hand the transformation plans for Earlestown and St Helens town centres to make the areas vibrant places for people to visit, live, and work. It was also an opportunity talk about the support that the association can give to the borough with its evening and night-time economy.  

As part of his visit he was talked through the regeneration programme for the borough including Earlestown and St Helens town centres with partners the English Cities Fund, who secured planning permissions recently for both areas.   

The ATCM is a membership body made up from public, private and voluntary sector organisations, all with the focus on keeping towns and cities healthy thriving places for communities.  

The plans for Earlestown include building a new market canopy over a section of Market Square together with new retail kiosks and public realm improvements focused around linking Market Square to Earlestown Rail Station and extending along Bridge Street.   

Meanwhile St Helens will initially see a new bus station, housing, market hall, hotel and office accommodation with a new street opening up Church Square and making St Helens Parish Church a focal point.   

buildings like The Gamble and Earlestown Town Hall, and the council’s ambitious plans for funding of these projects through the Levelling Up Fund and Town Deal bids.  

Mr McDonald said: “We are so impressed with the work and effort being applied to transforming St Helens’ evening and night-time economy for the better. The level of planning and strategy happening to create an inclusive and safe destination 24/7 will see this town deliver on its ample potential as a strategic hub in the northwest.”  

Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and planning, added: “We are committed to delivering the transformation of our town centres in Earlestown and St Helens and, talking to Ojay, it was a reminder of how much positive progress we have made so far and we are able to show the solid foundations we now have to build on and progress these plans. We are grateful for the support from the ATCM and talked them through our opportunities, which we are hoping will bring millions of investment to our borough, and we will continue to work with our partners as our plans turn into reality.”