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Consultation events announced for Earlestown regeneration

Local residents and businesses across Earlestown, Newton-Le-Willows and St Helens are being invited to view and have their say on updated plans for the regeneration of Earlestown town centre at a series of public exhibitions in November and December.

CGI image shows how Earlestown Market Square could look following regeneration

Article date: November 11th 2023

The consultation is being held in advance of the submission of a Reserved Matters planning application for the Market Square and a detailed planning application and listed building consent application for the works to the Town Hall by the end of this year.

St Helens Borough Council and its strategic development partner the English Cities Fund (ECF) are bringing forward ambitious proposals to restore Earlestown to its rightful status as a thriving market town. The plans include a major upgrade to the town's historic Market Square - home to one of the oldest working markets in the country - repurposing of its Grade II Listed Town Hall and a wide range of high-quality improvements to the public realm.

A permanent market canopy, inspired by the iconic nine arches of the Sankey Viaduct, will create a new positive edge to the market square, providing sheltered trading space to support the market in functioning year-round, especially in poor weather conditions, and enable the hosting of events.

The Market Square will be transformed with high quality paving and seating areas, family friendly features and public art, all complemented by beautiful planting and trees to soften the space, increase biodiversity and offer shade during the summer months.

The transformation will create the flexibility to both house Earlestown's historic market long into the future and provide an attractive and flexible space for a wide range of other events all year round.

Earlestown's Town Hall will be returned to its rightful place as a hub of activity, commercial and community uses. The internal refurbishment will provide a range of new high-quality spaces and facilities including community space, flexible offices, workspaces, and meeting rooms, and a new café. Externally its courtyard will benefit from high quality landscaping features to provide an additional amenity space.

Core town centre streets, including Market Street, Stanley Street, Bridge Street and Queen Street will be upgraded to create a public realm and highways of greater quality that enhances the historic environment of Earlestown, creates a distinctive sense of place and encourages footfall between Earlestown Rail Station. This will include the introduction of specimen street trees, sustainable drainage features, and well considered street furniture and soft landscaping.

The plans will be displayed at a series of exhibitions with members of the project team on hand to talk through the plans and answer questions from the community. Visitors will be encouraged to leave their feedback via a questionnaire available at the events and online.

Members of the community will also be able to view the plans and submit feedback via the consultation website earlestown.co.uk. The consultation will open on Wednesday 22th November and close on Wednesday 6th December 2023.

The touring exhibition will visit the following locations:

·       Saturday 25th November - Earlestown Market (9am - 12.30pm)  

·       Monday 27th November - Cross Lane United Church (4pm - 8pm)    

·       Tuesday 28th November - Newton Community Centre (3pm - 5pm)  

·       Wednesday 29th November - Crownway Community Centre (10am - 3pm)   

·       Friday 1st December - Earlestown Market (10.30am - 3pm)

·       Saturday 2nd December - Newton-le-Willows Health and Fitness (10am - 3pm)

Earlier this year the Earlestown town centre regeneration project received £20m from the Government's Levelling Up Fund (LUF), one of only two projects in the Liverpool City Region to secure LUF funding under Round 2. 

Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: "We're delighted to be bringing forward further details on our proposals to transform and reinvigorate historic Earlestown.  

"The Market Square is home to one of the oldest working markets in the country. Our plans for a more attractive and flexible Market Square, with the much-loved Town Hall fully repaired and reopened as a thriving community hub, will help to deliver the diverse, vibrant town centre residents want and deserve. 

"I encourage everyone to attend these consultation events to find out more and share their views." 

Tom Ivinson,Development Managerat the English Cities Fund, said:"Over recent months we have enjoyed productive discussions with community groups and traders in Earlestown as we've continued to develop detailed designs for the rejuvenation of the town centre. We are now looking forward to showcasing the outcome of this work, including new images, when we launch the consultation later this month.

"Earlestown has some truly enviable assets in its Market Square and the beautiful Town Hall, and our proposals represent a huge opportunity to enhance the town's infrastructure and appearance to provide a better environment for traders and shoppers alike, encouraging more people to visit and spend more time in Earlestown."

St Helens Borough Council and The English Cities Fund entered into a 20-year partnership focused on the transformation of St Helens Borough with the first key focus being the transformation of Earlestown and St Helens town centres.

The English Cities Fund is a development company set up by three of the UK's leading regeneration and investment organisations. The fund brings together the combined expertise and ambition of Homes England, the Government's homes agency; investors Legal & General; and urban regeneration specialists Muse Developments.