In England on December 10, 2019, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority announced support for the Council’s purchase of St. Modwen’s assets with a £10 million investment from the Single Investment fund.
This comes after news that Knowsley Council had purchased St. Modwen’s assets in Kirkby Town Centre, a purchase which will now be supported by a £10 million investment from the Combined Authority, with a potential further £5 million for further regeneration of the town centre.
Metro mayor, Steve Rotheram, said “I’m so happy to see the regeneration of the ‘Townie’ is finally happening. There have been too many false dawns caused by broken private sector promises but I’m really proud that we have been able to play a part in bringing this much-needed development to the area I grew up in.”
“Devolution is all about taking back control from Westminster and shaping our own destinies. When I was elected, I promised that no borough would be left behind and it’s fantastic that, in partnership with Knowsley Council, we will see the heart put back into Kirkby again,” he continued.
The purchase marks the first time in the town’s history that the town centre will be owned and managed by the Council.
The result of which will be the ability to progress with town regeneration plans, including a new 45,000 square foot Morrisons site, nine new retail units, two drive-thru restaurants, a petrol station and associated car parking.
Confirmation of the purchase came on November 19, 2019, four months after initial proposals for the £43.9 million deal.
Included in the deal is the purchase of 87 shops and 12.4 acres of land, as well as the existing shopping centre, development land and costs associated with building the new facilities.
500 new jobs will be created from the development and 278 construction jobs during the building phase.
The local economy is set to benefit from a £15.2m boost each year and £650,000 in Business Rates.
Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council commented, “The people of Kirkby have waited long enough for the regeneration of their town centre. The private sector has failed to bring forward the development it has promised for almost 20 years and that’s why we stepped in.”
“This is the largest investment which Knowsley Council has ever made, so agreeing this additional support from the Combined Authority is great news and yet more evidence of our strong partnership. It provides us with additional reassurance that our decision to intervene in Kirkby is the right one,” he added.
The Council is also progressing with plans to purchase the Knowsley Community College site on Cherryfield Drive and facilitate the College’s ambitions to open a new facility at the heart of the town centre.
Confirmation of the purchase came on Nov 19, four months after initial proposals for the £43.9 million deal.
Included in the deal is the purchase of 87 shops and 12.4 acres of land, as well as the existing shopping centre, development land and costs associated with building the new facilities. 500 new jobs will be created from the development and 278 construction jobs during the building phase.
Photo (courtesy of Liverpool City) shows Cllr. Graham Morgan and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.