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A joint statement from St Helens Borough Council and English Cities Fund on St Helens Town Centre regeneration

The St Helens Borough Strategy 2021-2030 was shaped by residents, communities, businesses and stakeholders. As part of this we heard that 'St Helens Town Centre requires transformation, ambitious plans should be made and implemented'.

Council crest

Since ECF were appointed as the council's 20-year strategic regeneration partner in 2020, we have been working together to prioritise the transformational change of St Helens Town Centre to deliver a high-quality, vibrant place that is fit for the future.

An extensive period of engagement on our Masterplan proposals started in November 2021 and everyone across the residential and business community were invited to have their say. This consultation was advertised across a range of digital and offline channels, with drop-in events also scheduled throughout this period.

A third-party social enterprise that specialises in community consultations were also brought on board and held a series of in-person events during this time targeted to specific groups, including young people, disabled people, older people, young care leavers, social workers and foster carers.

This extensive and positive engagement led to the successful adoption of the St Helens Masterplan Development Framework in February 2022, with 88% of respondents strongly supporting or supporting its vision.

It is now nearly 30 years since St Helens Bus Station was last improved to form the current heavily constrained footprint and poor appearance. A new and extended bus station that will future proof the provision of bus services and act as an attractive arrival point in St Helens Town Centre is a core component of the Masterplan, delivering a more accessible public transport network to connect communities across the borough and drive sustainable footfall into the town centre.

The Masterplan visuals clearly identified proposals for the transport interchange improvements, including impacts for the Swan Public House, and 82% of respondents supported the proposals to reconfigure St Helens' bus and train stations.

Properties affected by the outline planning application, which included The Swan Public House and specifically identified its proposed demolition, were directly contacted by letters issued in March, April and August 2022. No representations were received from The Swan Public House in response.

Direct engagement has also taken place with Punch Partnerships, the owner of The Swan, who advise that they have been in direct contact with the tenant over the proposed Compulsory Purchase Order.

We are sorry if this causes any distress to those affected with regards to The Swan Public House, or any other properties and businesses, and would like to reaffirm that our door is always open to speaking directly to discuss our town centre regeneration ambitions and activities.

For further information on the regeneration of St Helens town centre, please see the Masterplan Development Framework.

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Last modified on 23 December 2022