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How the new cinema in Kirkby could look

£2.8m further funding for Kirkby to create 200 jobs

by Gemma Melling

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has agreed a further investment of £2.8 million to support the second phase of Knowsley Council’s regeneration of Kirkby Town Centre.

In December last year, the Combined Authority approved £10m to support Knowsley Council’s purchase Kirkby town centre in November 2019, which kick-started the retail development in the town centre which is now well under way.

This second phase of the project, which already has planning permission, will see the development of a multi-screen cinema and food and beverage outlets on the site of the former Kirkby Library site.

The construction phase of the cinema scheme will create 108 jobs during the construction phase and 95 permanent jobs.  This is in addition to the 500 new jobs created by the first phase alongside 278 construction jobs.

The new retail development is delivering 94,000 feet2 of retail space, including a 45,000 feet2 Morrisons superstore, a petrol station, a new store for Home Bargains, and drive-through restaurants for KFC and Taco Bell. Work on the site has been progressing throughout the pandemic with the units really starting to take shape in the town centre with steel structures, cladding, roofing and glazing now visible.

Speaking about the investment, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “When we announced our support for this project last year we made it clear that we would be prepared to back further stages of regeneration.

“Knowsley Council has come up with a superb addition to the first phase of the scheme that will be transformational.

“I’m so happy to see the regeneration of the ‘Townie’ is moving into this second phase and I’m so proud that we are playing a part in backing this much-needed development to the area I grew up in.

“These are uncertain times for all businesses and I’m pleased we have been able to make sure that this vital scheme continues.”

Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council Regeneration and Economic Development Cabinet Member, added: “Earlier this year, we asked residents what they would like to see in Kirkby town centre.  As well as a supermarket, people asked for a cinema and a greater choice of food and drink outlets.”

“We have taken on board this feedback and have been working behind the scenes on the cinema scheme.  We already have planning permission in place and our next priority was securing the funding.”

“So today marks another significant milestone in our plans for Kirkby town centre with funding secured from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority – we will now get on with the scheme itself.”