New computer generated images show how a Merseyside town could be "transformed and reinvigorated" by regeneration plans.

St Helens Borough Council and the English Cities Fund (ECF) are bringing forward proposals to revive Earlestown. The town's regeneration masterplan was launched in 2021 and the plans include making a major upgrade to the town’s historic Market Square, repurposing its Grade II-listed Town Hall and several other improvements.

Additionally, a permanent market canopy - inspired by the iconic nine arches of the Sankey Viaduct - would be built to provide a sheltered trading space and enable the hosting of events.

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The Market Square project received £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF) earlier this year. New computer generated images show how the proposed development to Market Square could look.

Members of the public have now been invited to have their say on these plans, which include the addition of paving and seating areas, family-friendly features and public art to the square, alongside plants and trees. The plans aim to put the square in a position to house Earlestown’s historic market long into the future as well as providing a flexible location for events.

Additionally, the project aims for Earlestown’s Town Hall to become a hub of activity, with commercial and community uses. The internal refurbishment will provide a range of new high-quality spaces and facilities including community space, flexible offices, workspaces, and meeting rooms, and a new café. Its courtyard will also provide an additional amenity space, having been landscaped.

CGI of Earlestown regeneration
How a regenerated Earlestown town centre could look

Town centre streets, including Market Street, Stanley Street, Bridge Street and Queen Street, will also be upgraded. This will include the introduction of specimen street trees, sustainable drainage features, street furniture and soft landscaping.

A consultation will now be held in advance of the submission of a Reserved Matters planning application for the Market Square and a detailed planning application and listed building consent application for the works to the Town Hall by the end of this year. As such, the plans will be displayed at a series of exhibitions for the public to view.

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

The 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)

St Helens Borough Council leader Cllr David Baines 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.”

Earlestown Market has been a staple of the town for over 700 years
Earlestown Market has been a staple of the town for over 700 years

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.”

People will also be able to view the plans and submit feedback via the consultation website The consultation will open on November 22 and close on December 6.

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