A NEW restaurant is being lined up to open in the former Hudson Smokehouse building in St Helens town centre, it can be revealed.

The building, in Bridge Street, has been vacant since the American-inspired restaurant closed its doors in 2016.

Earlier this month St Helens Council approved a new lease for the building, which is part of the council-owned Church Square shopping centre.

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The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands the council is working with a proposed tenant for a new restaurant.

It is understood the council is also working to find a tenant for the unoccupied unit next door to the former smokehouse.

Two separate delegated decisions have been taken in relation to Church Square, which is viewed as a key focal point for the regeneration of the town centre.

The lease for the building occupied by Vision Express in Church Square has been renewed.

Additionally, a decision has been taken to write-off debts of more than £5,000 relating to Church Square, in accordance with the council’s debt recovery procedure.

It is also understood that talks are still ongoing over the purchase of the former Marks & Spencer store.

The council want to use the building to house a new indoor market, with fears that St Mary’s Market is becoming increasingly isolated.

The move is part of the council’s wider plans for the regeneration of St Helens town centre, which were first unveiled in 2017.


St Helens Star:

St Helens Council leader David Baines

Council leader David Baines has repeatedly said that town centre regeneration in St Helens and Earlestown is a priority for him and the council.

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In his first interview since becoming elected in May, Cllr Baines said their needs to be “firm and quick” progress on the town centre regeneration over the next 12 months.

Cllr Baines said at the time: “It is my intention to do all I can to move forward quickly with the regeneration of the town centre, to provide information for residents so they can see what’s going on and to do all I can to make sure St Helens town centre, Earlestown town centre and all the district centres see the change that people want.”