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£20million boost for Earlestown regeneration

The regeneration of Earlestown has been given a huge £20million boost, thanks to a successful Levelling Up Fund bid by St Helens Borough Council.

The scheme will support plans to transform the historic market square together with the public realm, bring Earlestown Town Hall back into public use and support improvements at Earlestown Rail Station.

The funding, backed by St Helens North MP Conor McGinn, was one of only two successful bids in the Liverpool City Region under the second round of levelling up funding.

Welcoming the news, Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted to receive this funding in support of our plans for Earlestown and I would like to thank council officers and Conor McGinn for their support for this vital and transformational plan. The project will revitalise this historic market town, facilitate the reopening of Earlestown Town Hall and support transport improvements at Earlestown Rail Station, which has the world’s oldest rail junction and station building still in passenger service.”

Conor McGinn, St Helens North MP, added: “It’s great news that our joint council-MP bid for St Helens North to the Levelling-up Fund round two has been successful. In securing £20m from the Levelling Up Fund for the regeneration of Earlestown, we’re on course to deliver the approved regeneration plans for the historic market square and reopen the town hall as a new hub.

“The approach we’ve taken as a team of political, business and community leaders is to be ambitious for the whole borough and every part of St Helens, and this good news for Newton-le-Willows alongside the continuing investment in St Helens town centre and local areas.”

St Helens Borough Council and national joint venture, The English Cities Fund (ECF), entered into a 20-year partnership focused on the transformation of St Helens borough, with the first key focus for the partnership on the transformation of Earlestown and St Helens town centres. ECF is a development company set up by three of the UK's leading regeneration and investment organisations, nationwide placemaker, Muse, Legal & General and Homes England.

Max Bentham, development director at The English Cities Fund, said: “It’s fantastic news to hear that St Helens Borough Council has received levelling-up funding to accelerate the delivery of our combined vision for Earlestown town centre.

“Both the partnership and the vision for the borough is unique and it’s clear that excitement is building around what we’re looking to achieve here. Together, we’re working hard with, and for the community, to turn that vision for Earlestown and the wider borough into reality.

“Essentially people make place, and this funding injection will help to revitalise a historic market town, bringing communities together, while connecting them to opportunities to thrive and build a brighter future.”

The three key projects in Earlestown town centre will build on the vision outlined in the approved Earlestown masterplan development framework. This includes the revitalisation of Market Square, provision of a new market canopy and enhanced public spaces. The plans will revitalise the historic market town, attract activity into the heart of the town centre and increase its usage outside of the current market days programme.

Funding will also help to support the ongoing restoration of Earlestown Town Hall and bring the much-loved Grade II listed building into public use once again, protecting the heritage of the hall which famously hosted The Beatles in their heyday and providing a multi-use space for a range of organisations and residents.

Finally, the Earlestown Rail Station scheme will improve access to the station, bring an original building back into use and improve its connectivity to the town centre through enhanced entrance and signage.