TWO retailers have confirmed they have extended leases in one of St Helens' key shopping centres.

Boots and Bodycare have signed long-term leases to remain at Church Square shopping centre.

Bosses at the centre hope the commitment of the stores will help as St Helens Council, which purchased the arcade last year, attempts to attract new retailers.

Steve Brogan, Church Square centre manager, said: "The continuation of our relationship with these anchor stores is incredibly important as St Helens moves into this new phase of regeneration.

"Not only does it strengthen our offering but is helping to attract more well-known brands.”

Meanwhile, Galloways Bakers is also due to open a branch in the centre.

St Helens Council acquired Church Square Shopping Centre in October 2017 and is part of its plans for the regeneration of the town centre and will see the council take greater control of key assets.

One of its main focus points is changing St Helens’ retail offering, enhancing the shopping area and encouraging independent shops to operate alongside well-known high street brands.

Council leader Cllr Barrie Grunewald, said: “It’s reassuring to hear that current and new businesses have taken out long-term leases at Church Square Shopping Centre which shows a great amount of faith and confidence in the local area.

“St Helens has gone through a tough time in recent years but despite the financial challenges faced by both public and private sector organisations, I would like to reassure the people of the borough that a thriving town centre remains an absolute priority.”