Knowsley Council made the bold decision to purchase Kirkby Town Centre in November 2019 and in just two years:
- A brand new 96,000 feet2 retail development has been built
- 460 car parking spaces have been created allowing shoppers to park for free for up to three hours
- A Morrisons supermarket has opened
- A Morrisons petrol station has opened
- A drive-through Taco Bell has opened
- A drive-through KFC has opened
- The numbers of people visiting Kirby Town Centre has increased – 9,000 people visited Kirkby on Thursday 21 October – the day when the new Morrisons store opened
- Almost 400 new jobs have been created with the majority secured by local people and more jobs opportunities to come – Home Bargains are currently completing their internal-fit out and will open their new store soon.
And this is just the start – Knowsley Council’s ambitious plans for Kirkby are continuing to progress with work under way on the delivery of a multi-screen cinema scheme (including three food and drink outlets). Negotiations are also ongoing with a number of businesses wanting to call Kirkby their home and details will be shared once the contracts have been signed. Further job opportunities will also be created as a result of the cinema scheme and new businesses opening in Kirkby.
Not only is so much going on the Town Centre itself, but house builders Barratt Developments and David Wilson Homes are currently refining plans for the land to the south of Cherryfield Drive which will include a range of homes to suit all styles and budgets, enhanced green spaces, and strong links to the Town Centre.
Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “When you step back and look at what has been achieved in just two years, and take into account that this was done at the same time as coping with a global health crisis, it really is outstanding. We know that residents in Kirkby have been waiting and calling for improved facilities, and, up until November 2019, our hands were tied as we did not own or control the Town Centre. A series of private sector owners let local people down, and we had to do something. It was actually quite a risk to step in to buy the Town Centre but look at what’s been achieved! We are delivering on the things that our residents, businesses and visitors want and need. Our plans don’t end here though – I am looking forward now to seeing the next phase of Kirkby’s development.”
Councillor Tony Brennan, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “As a local resident myself, I am delighted with how Kirkby is developing. Many people have said to me “I’ll believe it when I see it”, and we can now all say “seeing is believing”. Our Town Centre is attracting more people to shop and socialise, and we know that many people and businesses are intending to call Kirkby “home”. I’m delighted to be part of this transformation journey and seeing my hometown benefit from this investment and interest. It really is an exciting time for Kirkby.”