A CONTRACT has been awarded to draw up regeneration plans for part of St Helens town centre.

St Helens Council has secured £150,000 from One Public Estate (OPE), which was part of a wider bid from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

OPE provides practical and technical support and funding to councils to deliver property-focused programmes in collaboration with central government and other public-sector partners.

The St Helens programme consists of three elements, which are all are intrinsically linked to the wider proposed £300 million regeneration of the town centre.

The key elements to the scheme are The College Street Northern Gateway, which will involve the creation of a masterplan of the area around Birchley Street car park for a primarily residential development.

Plans will also be drawn up for the St Helens Central Station Hub, which will look at an area around the station, with the aim of taking advantage of St Helens’ location on the new direct rail link to Glasgow and the council’s ambitious town centre regeneration plans.

In addition, the Public Sector Assets Optimisation Programme will assess the public sector estate in the town centre to identify options for greater efficiency, more effective service delivery and opening up opportunities for town centre regeneration.

To help deliver the project, a contract has now been awarded – through a delegated decision – to Perfect Circle, which is part of the Scape Group.

A spokesman for the council declined to comment.

The news comes six months after the council unveiled ambitious plans to transform St Helens town centre over the next decade.

Part of the council’s vision for town centre is to redevelop the area around the section of Sankey Canal into a modern waterfront area, complete with bars, restaurants and desirable canal-side apartments, taking inspiration from stylish cities around the UK and Europe.

The council also intend to shape the town centre into four distinct quarters – the Shopping Quarter, centred on Church Square; the Education Quarter, based around St Helens College; the Civic and Heritage Quarter, with the town hall and Gamble Building on Victoria Square at its heart and the Growth Quarter at the canal-side redevelopment.