A LAST rallying call is being issued for residents of St Helens to get behind the project to bring a community bookshop to the town centre.

The project needs to reach a minimum target of £40,000 for the project to become a reality. At the time of writing, the project has massed £34,000, more than three quarters of the way to the target, with one week to go.

The former Furniture Boutique on Bridge Street, part of Church Square Shopping Centre, will be transformed into a bookshop set to launch in March, should the project go ahead.

St Helens Star: The former Furniture BoutiqueThe former Furniture Boutique

The idea for a community bookshop started following the closure of Westfield Street store Wardleworth's last year.

The St Helens Book Stop, a community benefit society, was launched to realise the ambition, with the efforts of trustees Brian Leyland, Julia Cadman and Steven Davies and also former Wardleworth's manager Anna Peacock.

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The bookshop will be a community share project, with residents invited to get involved.

It is intended that the bookshop be owned and run by the community and exist for the benefit of the town.

As many people as possible are asked to support the venture for as little as £50 to become a part owner of the bookshop.

Brian says that as far as he is aware, this is the first community share project to have been launched in St Helens.

Brian said: "We're making one last push to try and get it there.

"With community shares it is about coming together, everybody, from a normal member of the public to the celebrities that we have."

Ambassadors to the project include Rainhill author Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Saints captain James Roby, Paul Sculthorpe, former football referee Chris Foy and journalist Charles Nevin.

Providing the necessary funds are raised, it is the aim for the building to be occupied on January 1, 2021 with a view to opening the bookshop's doors in March to coincide with World Book Day.

The project has also benefited from a grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation and says the council has been supportive of the venture.

  • See sthelensbookstop.co.uk for more and get involved in the project on the Crowdfunder page by clicking here .
  • Anyone who has offered to volunteer for the bookshop is asked to email details to bookstopjobs@mail.com