Business cases for 6 key investment projects for St Helens to progress

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ALL six of the projects included in St Helens’ original Town Investment Plan  will progress to the next stage of development to secure a share of the £25m offer recently secured from Government, it has been confirmed.

St Helens Town Deal Board hopes the projects will develop business opportunities, support heritage and boost physical and digital infrastructure.

The funds come from the Government’s Town’s Fund, which is part of the so-called levelling up agenda.

Areas are awarded funds to invest in their local economies to create jobs and reshape towns and cities into places where businesses and communities can thrive.

John Tabern, chairman of St Helens Town Deal Board, added: “When we found out we had been successful in receiving such a large amount of funding through the Towns Deal Fund we knew that an intensive period of detailed work would start to meet the criteria for the next phase.

Council leader David Baines, Town Deal chairman John Tabern and council chief executive Kath O’Dwyer

“The business cases for each project will be submitted by next summer then we can start to work on delivering for St Helens Town Centre.”

The six projects were selected by the Town Deal Board after consultation and formed part of the original submission to Government earlier this year.

The projects are:

• Glass Futures Phase Two (including Cannington Shaw): This will look at further development of glass production and bringing new glass production opportunities, building on the successful innovation work Glass Futures will bring. It also includes ‘where glass past meets glass futures’ through the redevelopment of Cannington Shaw as a potential visitor centre and other uses.

• Town Centre Living and Regeneration: This will link to the work being done through the council’s partnership with the English Cities Fund to transform St Helens Town Centre and support the projects that will emerge from the future masterplan.

• St Helens Heritage World: This scheme will focus on supporting the borough’s strong heritage, linking and enhancing assets already in place such as The World of Glass.

• Healthy Communities: This project will focus on the creation of a Youth Zone to provide provision for children and young people to use. It will also look to create a Health Innovation Hub to support tackling health inequalities across the borough, which is a priority of the St Helens People’s Board.

• Connected Places: This project will focus on the movement infrastructure of St Helens Town Centre, providing a variety of sustainable transport measures including walking and cycling facilities and links to public transport.

• Digital infrastructure: This project will focus on making sure that businesses and the public can benefit from superfast broadband and wireless networks.

Councillor David Baines, leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “We are moving at pace to work on detailed business cases for each of these projects and this next stage sets out how we are looking to make these ideas become a reality through Town Deal and other funding sources.

“It comes at a really exciting time for us as a borough as we prepare to launch our visions for St Helens and Earlestown town centres.

“The Town Deal Fund means that we have additional resources to back up and get projects moving so that we can make a real difference that everyone can see.”

The proposals will now be considered by the council’s cabinet at its meeting on October 6 after the Town Deal Board supported their submission to Government.

The local authority adds that the exact amount of money each project will receive is subject to both business case approval and further approval from the Governments new Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.