PLANS are being discussed to open an emergency services hub near St Helens town centre, a council report has revealed.

St Helens Council is currently working with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service on the potential development of a ‘Blue Light Hub’.

It is proposed that the hub would include the fire and ambulance service within close proximity to the town centre.

The plans were revealed in the council’s budget and performance monitoring report for July.

“Work is being done with the fire service on the potential development of a ‘Blue Light Hub’ to include the fire and ambulance service within close proximity to the town centre,” the report says.

A Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service spokesman added: “Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is always seeking ways to build upon our already close working with colleagues across all emergency services and local authorities to increase efficiency and effectiveness with the ultimate aim of keeping people across Merseyside safe from harm.”

The hub would form part of the council’s key portfolio priorities to deliver a town centre strategy to rejuvenate the town centre and improve opportunities for shopping, leisure and living.

The council report says it could use funds from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to support the redevelopment of the town centre.

Metropolitan mayor Steve Rotheram announced in July that the combined authority’s five councils would be able to bid for up to £1 million of a new £5 million fund to support the development of town centre action plans.

The report says the combined authority is yet to define the bidding process.

“The intention is for this to very much be a collaborative approach between local authorities and the combined authority,” the report says.

The budget and performance monitoring report says the money could be used to support the implementation of its action plan.

It could also be used to match funding to lever in other sources of funding to support the aims in the action plan.

“The approach will obviously differ in each borough, but the intention is for local authorities to be the main driver in identifying a suitable town for funding in their area,” the report says.

“To complement and support the Town Centre Fund, it is proposed that the combined authority will establish a Town Centres Commission, which will be led by a renowned economist – yet to be determined.”

The report adds: “Progress continues to be made on a delivery and action plan that will progress the master planning for the town centre redevelopment.”

The council says that partnership working with the Joint Agency Group (JAG) on town centre initiatives will deliver “co-ordinated action” to improve community safety in the coming months.

The report adds that it is currently working with partners to help deliver a new Arts and Culture Centre and working through “financial feasibility and programme for delivery”.