THE FIRST phase of a restoration project for Earlestown Town Hall is nearing completion.

St Helens Council committed to a five-stage restoration programme to bring Earlestown Town Hall back into use in October 2019, made to complement "game-changing regeneration plans" for Earlestown town centre.

Dating back to 1892, the Grade II listed building - which once staged The Beatles in 1962 - was closed in 2008 to meet council budget savings. 

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St Helens Star: Councillors taking a first-hand look at the restoration projectCouncillors taking a first-hand look at the restoration project (Image: St Helens Council)

Following consultations with the public and approval from the Council's Cabinet, almost £980,000 of external repairs was earmarked for the restoration of the clock tower, as well as roofing repairs, new windows, repointing and treatment of the stonework.   

With water damage affecting the historic building after its closure, it has taken almost a year to finish the first phase of the restoration project.

As the council was successful in securing £20m of the Government's Levelling Up Fund for Earlestown town centre, the restoration and repurposing of the town hall is seen as a major part of the town's future.

Following the first phase of the restoration project, detailed designs are now being drawn up to show how the finished internal layout will be used and will look once complete.   

St Helens Star: A repurposed Town Hall is vital for the future of Earlestown, councillors sayA repurposed Town Hall is vital for the future of Earlestown, councillors say (Image: St Helens Star)

Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said: “I had a chance to see the progress that has been made on this much loved and vitally important part of Earlestown and our borough’s history.

"Restoring a building that has been closed for many years is a painstaking process, particularly given its deteriorated state and as we sought to conserve many of its ornate decoration.  

“Even though the main internal works have not yet started you can see the potential for this building to once again become a real community asset for our borough.

"Already the external works have boosted the economy of our borough through supply chains and the delivery of apprenticeships and job opportunities for residents.    

“Our Levelling Up Fund success means we can move forward now with the final phase of design and delivery on the internal sections of the building to create a multi-use venue that offers the community many more opportunities.”