RESIDENTS and businesses are invited to view and have their say on updated plans for the regeneration of Earlestown town centre at a series of public exhibitions.

Earlestown's regeneration plans have been secured via a £20m Levelling Up bid and centre around projects to revamp the town's historic market square, Town Hall, and town centre spaces.

Local traders previously told the Star that although some are sceptical about the proposals, many are desperate for investment to revive the town after a "steady decline" of the high street.

The consultations are being held in advance of final planning applications which will sign off the transformational proposals.

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What do the plans include?

St Helens Star: Public consultations are running until December 6Public consultations are running until December 6 (Image: St Helens Star)
A major part of the regeneration plans includes an upgrade to the town’s historic Market Square, which is home to one of the oldest working markets in the country.

A permanent market canopy, inspired by the iconic nine arches of the Sankey Viaduct, will create a new positive edge to the market square, providing sheltered trading space to support the market in functioning year-round, especially in poor weather conditions, and enable the hosting of events.  

The Market Square will also be transformed with high quality paving and seating areas, family friendly features and public art, all complemented by planting and trees to soften the space, increase biodiversity and offer shade during the summer months.  

The transformation is planned to create flexibility to secure the market's long term future and provide an attractive and flexible space for a wide range of other events all year round.  

St Helens Star: Earlestown's market square will undergo a huge revampEarlestown's market square will undergo a huge revamp (Image: St Helens Council)
Earlestown’s Town Hall will be returned to its rightful place as a hub of activity, commercial and community uses.

After external works on the building were completed earlier this year, internal refurbishments will provide a range of new high-quality spaces and facilities including community space, flexible offices, workspaces, and meeting rooms, and a new café.

The hall's courtyard will also benefit from "high quality landscaping features" to provide an additional amenity space. 

St Helens Star: Reviving the town hall is another main focusReviving the town hall is another main focus (Image: St Helens Star)
Core town centre streets, including Market Street, Stanley Street, Bridge Street and Queen Street will be upgraded to create a public realm and highways of greater quality that enhances the historic environment of Earlestown, creates a distinctive sense of place and encourages footfall between Earlestown Rail Station.

This will include the introduction of specimen street trees, sustainable drainage features, and well considered street furniture and soft landscaping. 

Where can the plans be viewed?

St Helens Star: Town centre spaces are expected to be improvedTown centre spaces are expected to be improved (Image: St Helens Council/ ECF)
Earlestown's regeneration plans will be displayed at a series of exhibitions and tours, with members of the project team on hand to talk through the plans and answer questions from the community.

Visitors will be encouraged to leave their feedback via a questionnaire available at the events and online.  

Members of the community can also  view the plans and submit feedback via the consultation website here.

The consultation will open on Wednesday, November 22 and close on Wednesday, December 6. 

The touring exhibition will visit the following locations: 

  • Saturday 25th November - Earlestown Market (9am - 12.30pm)   
  • Monday 27th November - Cross Lane United Church (4pm - 8pm)     
  • Tuesday 28th November - Newton Community Centre (3pm - 5pm)   
  • Wednesday 29th November - Crownway Community Centre (10am - 3pm)    
  • Friday 1st December - Earlestown Market (10.30am - 3pm) 
  • Saturday 2nd December - Newton-le-Willows Health and Fitness (10am - 3pm) 

'Huge opportunity' to transform historic town

St Helens Star: Leader of the Council, Cllr David BainesLeader of the Council, Cllr David Baines (Image: Cllr David Baines)
Commenting on the plans, Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “We're delighted to be bringing forward further details on our proposals to transform and reinvigorate historic Earlestown.   

“The Market Square is home to one of the oldest working markets in the country. Our plans for a more attractive and flexible Market Square, with the much-loved Town Hall fully repaired and reopened as a thriving community hub, will help to deliver the diverse, vibrant town centre residents want and deserve.  

“I encourage everyone to attend these consultation events to find out more and share their views.”  

Tom Ivinson, Development Manager at the English Cities Fund, added: “Over recent months we have enjoyed productive discussions with community groups and traders in Earlestown as we’ve continued to develop detailed designs for the rejuvenation of the town centre.

"We are now looking forward to showcasing the outcome of this work, including new images, when we launch the consultation later this month.  

“Earlestown has some truly enviable assets in its Market Square and the beautiful Town Hall, and our proposals represent a huge opportunity to enhance the town’s infrastructure and appearance to provide a better environment for traders and shoppers alike, encouraging more people to visit and spend more time in Earlestown.”