We all want our town to be great – somewhere easy to get to, attractive, with good entertainment, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Somewhere we want to hang out, and spend time with family and friends. Somewhere that we may want to live.
We think that St Helens can be that town, and we’ve developed a strategy for St Helens Town Centre, together with partners, to ensure our town grows and develops in to a town that can rival the best and instil pride among local people.
We want to create a town centre with fantastic leisure, shopping, cultural and learning opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy.
In recent years our town centre, like many others, has declined. Cultural changes in people’s shopping habits and the rise of online shopping is a major reason, but another is the lack of quality shops and places to eat and drink in the town centre. Currently less than one percent of the retail space within the town centre is owned by St Helens Council. This means that we have had little or no control over the shops that have opened up in the town. In order to get that control we are currently in the final stages of purchasing Church Square Shopping Centre.
Ownership of the centre will allow us to control the type of retail and leisure facilities that we would want to feature in our town. We believe that this investment will be a key driver for change in our town centre.
We know that we need to make changes. We need to breathe new life into the town. We need to grasp this opportunity to make St Helens Town Centre a desirable destination once more.
A blueprint for our town centre
The below document sets out our plans for change. If the proposals suggested within our strategy were to be delivered, it would cost in the region of £300 million to transform the town. That’s the scale of our ambitions. This money would be realised through a combination of both public and private funding streams.
There can be no denying that this is a substantial amount of money, and comes at a time when the council, like many others across the country, are having to make changes to services, in light of the significant cuts made to the council’s budget by the Government. However, we feel that in order to best serve local people and the town, we need to invest some of the money we do have, as well as working together with private investors to bring in the funds to develop and transform the town centre.
We need to be ambitious for our town and forge ahead with our strategy to deliver on our proposals to regenerate St Helens Town Centre – after all if we don’t look to develop and change, the only alternative is to manage the decline.
Within the document we will show you our plans for transformation, but it’s important to remember that these plans will not happen overnight, or even over a few months, and although some activities could be deliver over the next 1-2 years, most of these proposals will gradually roll out over the next 10 years. The town centre we have now has evolved and grown over many decades, and building a sustainable, modern, vibrant and attractive one will take time and careful planning.
Transforming Our Town – Planning for the future of St Helens town centre
Tell us what you think
Our ambitious strategy sets out the direction and vision for the town centre and brings together proposals and suggestions to help it transform.
However, we can’t do this alone and we want to hear the views of residents, businesses and our partners about our long term plans for the future. We want to engage with local people on our strategy for St Helens Town Centre and welcome your comments and feedback on our plans. You can tell us by;
Emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can write to us at, Freepost: YOUR VIEWS
The closing date to receive comments and feedback is Friday 13th October 2017.
We’ll keep you up to date with all the latest information and developments on these pages, so keep coming back here to find out about the progression of our plans to transform our town centre.