Proposed £2.2 million investment could be the ‘final piece of the jigsaw’ for Kirkby Town Centre revival
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will be asked to approve the final instalment of its £15 million rejuvenation of Kirkby Town Centre on Friday 10 June, which would see a prime site refurbished into a sustainable ‘travel hub’.
A decision is set to be made on a £2.2 million investment to support the redevelopment of a multi-storey car park into a new gateway for the town. Plans include long-stay parking, electric vehicle charging, and cycle storage.
The funding is part of a wider investment by the Combined Authority to support employment and redevelopment in Kirkby town centre.
Speaking about the proposed investment, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“Kirkby’s revival over the last few years has been something of a renaissance. Having grown up in the area, I know the real, positive difference this investment is having on the Townie – and on people’s lives too.
“Thanks to devolution we’ve been able to invest in places like Kirkby. From the transformation of the town centre to the opening of its first supermarket in nearly 40 years – and the new railway station we’re building at Headbolt Lane, we’re making things happen It’s proper levelling-up in action: creating local jobs and opportunities, and bringing greater prosperity to local people.”
The Combined Authority initially provided £10 million alongside Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council’s investment of £33.8 million to acquire the town centre and develop a retail and leisure scheme, that has transformed the centre of the town, creating a 45,000 sq ft Morrisons superstore, a petrol station, car park, a 20,000 sq ft Home Bargains and Taco Bell and KFC drive-thru restaurants.
The Combined Authority then approved a further allocation of £2.8 million to support the development of a multi-screen cinema and further leisure provision in the town centre.
It is hoped that this final instalment will create an attractive gateway to the town centre, and improving the condition of the car park will increase the chances of attracting a new tenant to the former Barclaycard building.
Dependent on use, this building could provide between 350-500 jobs in the town centre and support both employment in Kirkby and additional economic activity in the town centre.
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said:
“I’m delighted that the remaining £2.2m has been recommended for approval for us to accelerate our plans to enhance the Kirkby gateway site.
“It’s many people’s first impression of the town so it’s essential that we create the right image for residents, visitors, businesses and investors alike.
“Since purchasing the town centre in November 2019, we have delivered a retail development, created more free car parking spaces, attracted more businesses into the town and our multi-screen cinema scheme is also progressing.
“I’m delighted with what has been delivered in such a short space of time and we will continue to build on these achievements and deliver even more for everyone who lives, works, visits or invests in Kirkby.”