Knowsley Council recently asked for the view of people who visit, live or work in Huyton Village to share their views on how they would like the village centre to look over the coming years.
Over 1,100 people took the time to share their views, with a number of key themes emerging. This is really useful information that will be fed into the redevelopment plans for the village.
Many views relating to the general environment and attractiveness of the village centre. The council has already agreed investment of £1.75m for Huyton Village Centre to improve the general area. This includes enhancing shop fronts on Derby Road, with the first block of five shops due to commence next month. In addition, lighting and environmental improvements throughout the village centre are planned. The council is currently bidding for external funding to bring forward the next phase of the redevelopment in the near future, which will include significant investments in the Village Centre.
Many respondents requested that CCTV is reinstated in Huyton Village Centre to help promote feelings of safety amongst both shoppers and businesses. State-of-the-art CCTV cameras have been installed in Huyton Village Centre prior to Christmas and cameras are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In just their first month of being operational, the cameras helped police to secure an arrest for theft from a shop. The camera operators followed the offender on the cameras and were able to tell police ‘on the ground’ the location of the offender which subsequently resulted in an arrest.
A large number of respondents also wanted to see a better restaurant / café offer which could be extended into the evening and encouraging more people to stay longer. The good news is that a number of new food outlets have confirmed Huyton as their preferred location with a Turkish restaurant, “Eton Place”, on Derby Road due to open in the coming weeks. A new coffee and food outlet called “The Coffee House” will also be opening its doors on Derby Road in the coming months. In addition, negotiations are nearing completion for a bar/restaurant outlet in the former Natwest Bank building.
Another key theme coming out of the survey was a better retail offer. There are lots of retail and leisure opportunities in the village centre and the council is sharing these opportunities with developers and operators who are being encouraged to bring forward retail and leisure schemes.
The majority of respondents felt that Huyton Village Centre was well-connected by public transport and many respondents welcomed the introduction of the Foodie Friday events which ran from June through to December. We are looking to build on the success of these events during 2019.
Cllr Tony Brennan, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said “I’m delighted with the response rate we have received to this survey and your views will help us to shape the future plans for Huyton Village Centre. For all of our town centres, I want them to be vibrant and successful, offering something for everyone. I look forward to seeing the plans develop over the coming months and years and I will of course keep you regularly updated on progress.”