Is West Point leisure and retail scheme finally on course?

A 3D model of how the new development at the former St Thomas’s Square site could appear

A 3D model of how the new development at the former St Thomas’s Square site could appear

First published in News
Last updated
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IT has been one of the most drawn out development sagas that St Helens can remember...but finally, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for West Point.

The former St Thomas’ Square site, on the opposite side of the dual carriageway from Cineworld cinema, has been regarded by many as one of the town’s biggest eyesores.

Plans for a leisure and shopping development have been in the pipeline for a decade but floundered during the recession.

They were resurrected by Orbit Developments in October 2013 after St Helens Council sold a section of the land it owned to the developer.

But even after January’s announcement that work was due to start it has been subject to further unexplained delays.

However, the development does appear to finally back on track with diggers seen on site doing groundworks and St Helens Council leader Barrie Grunewald joining Orbit bosses to promote that work was underway.

Cllr Grunewald said: “Supermarket giant Aldi has already committed to the project, with leisure facilities and restaurants to follow as well as parking for up to 230 cars.

“Just as importantly it could generate up to 280 valuable jobs for the people of St Helens.

“There are also plans to link the new area to the rest of the town centre with a new ‘Puffin’ road crossing.”

Comments (16)

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9:41am Fri 18 Jul 14

keepitreel says...

i know we need something to be done on this land BUT not another supermarket please.Who remembers RIMMER waving the plans for the hotel complex with leisure facilitates,apartmen
ts and a glass walkway in the sky leading to the state of the art cinema complex.what are we going to get another ALDI adding to the 10 plus supermarkets in the town some lower end shops a gym to add to the dozen we already have and probably another fast food outlet.
When you compare that to what WIDNES had built it looks like we are second best again.
i know we need something to be done on this land BUT not another supermarket please.Who remembers RIMMER waving the plans for the hotel complex with leisure facilitates,apartmen ts and a glass walkway in the sky leading to the state of the art cinema complex.what are we going to get another ALDI adding to the 10 plus supermarkets in the town some lower end shops a gym to add to the dozen we already have and probably another fast food outlet. When you compare that to what WIDNES had built it looks like we are second best again. keepitreel
  • Score: 15

10:33am Fri 18 Jul 14

lawman2004 says...

Cheap supermarkets , pound shops, fast food take aways.... the mark of a town thats has now firmly landed in the gutter.
Cheap supermarkets , pound shops, fast food take aways.... the mark of a town thats has now firmly landed in the gutter. lawman2004
  • Score: 20

11:53am Fri 18 Jul 14

Lestat1977 says...

I'm happy something is being done there because it was a mess, but I do agree with previous comments regarding bargain shops and supermarkets. It seems we are fast becoming the bargain shop capital of the North West.
I'm happy something is being done there because it was a mess, but I do agree with previous comments regarding bargain shops and supermarkets. It seems we are fast becoming the bargain shop capital of the North West. Lestat1977
  • Score: 16

1:30pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Hughwithaview says...

This announcement does not give any more detail than we have had previously. The fact that Aldi has signed up is stale news - with a store on West Point will they close one of their smaller sites? - so no gain there.
What we want to know now is firm details of the other businesses coming not airy fairy statements from Grunewald " with leisure facilities and restaurants to follow"

The diggers may be on site but it appears only one company has signed on the dotted line.
This announcement does not give any more detail than we have had previously. The fact that Aldi has signed up is stale news - with a store on West Point will they close one of their smaller sites? - so no gain there. What we want to know now is firm details of the other businesses coming not airy fairy statements from Grunewald " with leisure facilities and restaurants to follow" The diggers may be on site but it appears only one company has signed on the dotted line. Hughwithaview
  • Score: 13

8:21pm Fri 18 Jul 14

keepitreel says...

just noticed its to have a PUFFIN rd crossing,doesnt have the same headline grab as glass walkway in the sky does it.
just noticed its to have a PUFFIN rd crossing,doesnt have the same headline grab as glass walkway in the sky does it. keepitreel
  • Score: 7

8:46pm Fri 18 Jul 14

suenthe3cs says...

I'm all for the Aldi challenge but does St. Helens really need 4 Aldis? Why don't you put another McDonald's on there too as it must be at least 500 yds away from the other 3
I'm all for the Aldi challenge but does St. Helens really need 4 Aldis? Why don't you put another McDonald's on there too as it must be at least 500 yds away from the other 3 suenthe3cs
  • Score: 9

10:12pm Fri 18 Jul 14

anthonywilson says...

Its positive that something is being done on the site but I cannot honestly believe that St Helens needs another supermarket. All it will do is displace trade from the others.

We now have the following stores within the Borough

ASDA (1)
Morrisons (3) Boundary Road, Sutton, and Newton-le-Willows
Tesco's (4) (Town centre, Haydock, Newton le Willows, Four Acre (not to mention the multitude of Tesco express shops,
Aldi (2 soon to be 3): Peasley Cross, the new one at Clock Face and one about to appear at St Thomas Square.
Lidl: Town centre
Iceland: Peasley Cross and Ormskirk Street
Farm Foods Boundary Road and Hardshaw Centre

The of course their all the other smaller co-operative supermarkets, Spars and smaller stores which would add about another 20. There's also soon to be a Sainsbury's convenience store on the old Triplex site as well.

If you did a weekly shop in each one on a rota (even just the larger supermarkets it would take more than 3 months to get round them all and yet St Helens Council thinks its a good idea by having yet another one! St Helens must be the North West Capital of Supermarkets (in addition to being the Capital of Pound Shops,)
Its positive that something is being done on the site but I cannot honestly believe that St Helens needs another supermarket. All it will do is displace trade from the others. We now have the following stores within the Borough ASDA (1) Morrisons (3) Boundary Road, Sutton, and Newton-le-Willows Tesco's (4) (Town centre, Haydock, Newton le Willows, Four Acre (not to mention the multitude of Tesco express shops, Aldi (2 soon to be 3): Peasley Cross, the new one at Clock Face and one about to appear at St Thomas Square. Lidl: Town centre Iceland: Peasley Cross and Ormskirk Street Farm Foods Boundary Road and Hardshaw Centre The of course their all the other smaller co-operative supermarkets, Spars and smaller stores which would add about another 20. There's also soon to be a Sainsbury's convenience store on the old Triplex site as well. If you did a weekly shop in each one on a rota (even just the larger supermarkets it would take more than 3 months to get round them all and yet St Helens Council thinks its a good idea by having yet another one! St Helens must be the North West Capital of Supermarkets (in addition to being the Capital of Pound Shops,) anthonywilson
  • Score: 8

10:43pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Bill Bradbury says...

All negative comments. No wonder faced with this level of knowledge from so called St.Helens citizens the town is in such a mess. All criticism no solutions.
I have just returned from a conference at the Warrington Jubilee Center funded by Lottery Money. It is an eye opener if this site could replicate.
All negative comments. No wonder faced with this level of knowledge from so called St.Helens citizens the town is in such a mess. All criticism no solutions. I have just returned from a conference at the Warrington Jubilee Center funded by Lottery Money. It is an eye opener if this site could replicate. Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 1

11:46am Sat 19 Jul 14

Hughwithaview says...

anthonywilson wrote:
Its positive that something is being done on the site but I cannot honestly believe that St Helens needs another supermarket. All it will do is displace trade from the others.

We now have the following stores within the Borough

ASDA (1)
Morrisons (3) Boundary Road, Sutton, and Newton-le-Willows
Tesco's (4) (Town centre, Haydock, Newton le Willows, Four Acre (not to mention the multitude of Tesco express shops,
Aldi (2 soon to be 3): Peasley Cross, the new one at Clock Face and one about to appear at St Thomas Square.
Lidl: Town centre
Iceland: Peasley Cross and Ormskirk Street
Farm Foods Boundary Road and Hardshaw Centre

The of course their all the other smaller co-operative supermarkets, Spars and smaller stores which would add about another 20. There's also soon to be a Sainsbury's convenience store on the old Triplex site as well.

If you did a weekly shop in each one on a rota (even just the larger supermarkets it would take more than 3 months to get round them all and yet St Helens Council thinks its a good idea by having yet another one! St Helens must be the North West Capital of Supermarkets (in addition to being the Capital of Pound Shops,)
We actually already have 3 Aldi stores because there is one at Haydock also. I wonder if they create a new larger store at West Point, they may close the one on the Retail Park at Peasley Cross?
[quote][p][bold]anthonywilson[/bold] wrote: Its positive that something is being done on the site but I cannot honestly believe that St Helens needs another supermarket. All it will do is displace trade from the others. We now have the following stores within the Borough ASDA (1) Morrisons (3) Boundary Road, Sutton, and Newton-le-Willows Tesco's (4) (Town centre, Haydock, Newton le Willows, Four Acre (not to mention the multitude of Tesco express shops, Aldi (2 soon to be 3): Peasley Cross, the new one at Clock Face and one about to appear at St Thomas Square. Lidl: Town centre Iceland: Peasley Cross and Ormskirk Street Farm Foods Boundary Road and Hardshaw Centre The of course their all the other smaller co-operative supermarkets, Spars and smaller stores which would add about another 20. There's also soon to be a Sainsbury's convenience store on the old Triplex site as well. If you did a weekly shop in each one on a rota (even just the larger supermarkets it would take more than 3 months to get round them all and yet St Helens Council thinks its a good idea by having yet another one! St Helens must be the North West Capital of Supermarkets (in addition to being the Capital of Pound Shops,)[/p][/quote]We actually already have 3 Aldi stores because there is one at Haydock also. I wonder if they create a new larger store at West Point, they may close the one on the Retail Park at Peasley Cross? Hughwithaview
  • Score: 4

12:17pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Hughwithaview says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
All negative comments. No wonder faced with this level of knowledge from so called St.Helens citizens the town is in such a mess. All criticism no solutions.
I have just returned from a conference at the Warrington Jubilee Center funded by Lottery Money. It is an eye opener if this site could replicate.
It is because WE ARE St Helens citizens that we feel the need to speak up about how poorly OUR town has been served by years of Labour rule. Of course to read your posts Bill, no one knows anything about anything except you.

The town is in a mess and that is because for many years this Council has stood by and watched it deteriorate before it's very eyes, so place the blame where it lies please and not towards individuals who have every right to challenge and question what is done here.

Though the surrounding towns are not problem free, they appear to at least have people within who have vision, acumen and the ability to get things moving. So many St Helens residents have already declared their preference for shopping in Warrington and Wigan so they must be doing something right.

I know I bang on about this constantly but just what are the Councillors, Senior Officers and Senior Managers here doing to earn their massive salaries? Every time new developments, rescue plans etc are mentioned, we have to bring in external consultants at even more expense to the tax payer - is it ant wonder we feel the need to criticise.

By the way Bill, lots of us have ideas and solutions, good ones too - but we are not the ones being paid big bucks to sort the mess out - your friends at the Town Hall are!
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: All negative comments. No wonder faced with this level of knowledge from so called St.Helens citizens the town is in such a mess. All criticism no solutions. I have just returned from a conference at the Warrington Jubilee Center funded by Lottery Money. It is an eye opener if this site could replicate.[/p][/quote]It is because WE ARE St Helens citizens that we feel the need to speak up about how poorly OUR town has been served by years of Labour rule. Of course to read your posts Bill, no one knows anything about anything except you. The town is in a mess and that is because for many years this Council has stood by and watched it deteriorate before it's very eyes, so place the blame where it lies please and not towards individuals who have every right to challenge and question what is done here. Though the surrounding towns are not problem free, they appear to at least have people within who have vision, acumen and the ability to get things moving. So many St Helens residents have already declared their preference for shopping in Warrington and Wigan so they must be doing something right. I know I bang on about this constantly but just what are the Councillors, Senior Officers and Senior Managers here doing to earn their massive salaries? Every time new developments, rescue plans etc are mentioned, we have to bring in external consultants at even more expense to the tax payer - is it ant wonder we feel the need to criticise. By the way Bill, lots of us have ideas and solutions, good ones too - but we are not the ones being paid big bucks to sort the mess out - your friends at the Town Hall are! Hughwithaview
  • Score: 12

7:17pm Sat 19 Jul 14

keepitreel says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
All negative comments. No wonder faced with this level of knowledge from so called St.Helens citizens the town is in such a mess. All criticism no solutions.
I have just returned from a conference at the Warrington Jubilee Center funded by Lottery Money. It is an eye opener if this site could replicate.
are you saying the jubilee centre could,should or would be built on this land and has your mate BAZ got plans to do so or something similar,BILL deep down you know what type of retail outlets will be opening on this site and you also know we are second best again to our neighbours,WHY was the jubilee centre NOT built here in the first place is the question YOU should ask yourself,not having a pop at fed up lied to people of this town.
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: All negative comments. No wonder faced with this level of knowledge from so called St.Helens citizens the town is in such a mess. All criticism no solutions. I have just returned from a conference at the Warrington Jubilee Center funded by Lottery Money. It is an eye opener if this site could replicate.[/p][/quote]are you saying the jubilee centre could,should or would be built on this land and has your mate BAZ got plans to do so or something similar,BILL deep down you know what type of retail outlets will be opening on this site and you also know we are second best again to our neighbours,WHY was the jubilee centre NOT built here in the first place is the question YOU should ask yourself,not having a pop at fed up lied to people of this town. keepitreel
  • Score: 1

12:39pm Sun 20 Jul 14

PHJ1092013 says...

I'd like to see John Lewis in St Helens (nearest stores are in Liverpool or Manchester's Trafford Centre).
I'd like to see John Lewis in St Helens (nearest stores are in Liverpool or Manchester's Trafford Centre). PHJ1092013
  • Score: 3

6:47pm Sun 20 Jul 14

barrie timpson says...

I'm angry - in fact livid , that there is as yet no word on a MacDonalds or a Costa on this site yet.
I'm angry - in fact livid , that there is as yet no word on a MacDonalds or a Costa on this site yet. barrie timpson
  • Score: 5

9:23pm Sun 20 Jul 14

keepitreel says...

what we need is a KRISPY KREEM.
what we need is a KRISPY KREEM. keepitreel
  • Score: 1

3:53pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Hughwithaview says...

keepitreel wrote:
what we need is a KRISPY KREEM.
Ooh yes and a Millie's Cookies and a Bettys Tea Rooms - unfortunately we are likely to get just more of the same "pie in the sky"
[quote][p][bold]keepitreel[/bold] wrote: what we need is a KRISPY KREEM.[/p][/quote]Ooh yes and a Millie's Cookies and a Bettys Tea Rooms - unfortunately we are likely to get just more of the same "pie in the sky" Hughwithaview
  • Score: 0

9:35am Fri 25 Jul 14

Bill Bradbury says...

keepitreal and Hughwithaview.
It may surprise you that some of your comments in response to my complaint (that every initiative is met with criticism), I agree with you both and have some sympathy especially over consultants having to be brought in to sort out any mess, especially in Education.
Yes I asked the question to a Cllr. who was at the same conference of why we did not have a Jubilee type centre built with Lottery and other private initiative. If you have not seen it go and look, swimming pools, cafe, Drs., Chemists, meeting/conference rooms etc.

Yes deep down I am not to happy with what is being built-but better than the dump they are now building on.
You mention you have "lots of solutions" and I would be pleased to hear them but without knowing all the details why you perceive, Wigan, Widnes and Warrington fare better and how they attract the investment that we apparently don't get, I cannot guess or comment.
One THEORY is perhaps these 3 towns are served directly by the West Coast main line and an East-West link. I have in the back of my mind that Widnes/Runcorn has been granted a Gateway?? status and likely to have the new Toll bridge built from it. (Both Bridges then will be tolled I an informed-that will go down well with commuters.

Again the fact that Wigan has a Debenhams is a bonus but I note via my frequent visits (I am in a church choir there and noted them in my Parish walking day through the town) it has the usual empty shops and food outlets as does Warrington. As I wrote before business and large stores such as John Lewis make their decisions on financial grounds and to echo a comment I made elsewhere on this site, big business controls decisions not politicians or local Cllrs. for that matter.

As to me knowing things I do because I have many contacts but you appreciate some of what I am told is in strictest confidence hence my oft comment from Francis Urquhart "You may say that but I cannot possibly comment"--you can read between the lines. Much of what Sankey writes I agree with but I don't want him to think he is totally getting away with what he writes and that applies to you both. Cousin Harry also talks a lot of sense.

However points noted- just one parting shot, we had a Lib/Dem/Tory Council for many years who managed to scupper Parkside, now back on track hopefully. Some people tend to ignore that but perhaps it was when all the dereliction continued under their watch, but of course it was all Barry and Marie's fault??!!
keepitreal and Hughwithaview. It may surprise you that some of your comments in response to my complaint (that every initiative is met with criticism), I agree with you both and have some sympathy especially over consultants having to be brought in to sort out any mess, especially in Education. Yes I asked the question to a Cllr. who was at the same conference of why we did not have a Jubilee type centre built with Lottery and other private initiative. If you have not seen it go and look, swimming pools, cafe, Drs., Chemists, meeting/conference rooms etc. Yes deep down I am not to happy with what is being built-but better than the dump they are now building on. You mention you have "lots of solutions" and I would be pleased to hear them but without knowing all the details why you perceive, Wigan, Widnes and Warrington fare better and how they attract the investment that we apparently don't get, I cannot guess or comment. One THEORY is perhaps these 3 towns are served directly by the West Coast main line and an East-West link. I have in the back of my mind that Widnes/Runcorn has been granted a Gateway?? status and likely to have the new Toll bridge built from it. (Both Bridges then will be tolled I an informed-that will go down well with commuters. Again the fact that Wigan has a Debenhams is a bonus but I note via my frequent visits (I am in a church choir there and noted them in my Parish walking day through the town) it has the usual empty shops and food outlets as does Warrington. As I wrote before business and large stores such as John Lewis make their decisions on financial grounds and to echo a comment I made elsewhere on this site, big business controls decisions not politicians or local Cllrs. for that matter. As to me knowing things I do because I have many contacts but you appreciate some of what I am told is in strictest confidence hence my oft comment from Francis Urquhart "You may say that but I cannot possibly comment"--you can read between the lines. Much of what Sankey writes I agree with but I don't want him to think he is totally getting away with what he writes and that applies to you both. Cousin Harry also talks a lot of sense. However points noted- just one parting shot, we had a Lib/Dem/Tory Council for many years who managed to scupper Parkside, now back on track hopefully. Some people tend to ignore that but perhaps it was when all the dereliction continued under their watch, but of course it was all Barry and Marie's fault??!! Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 0

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