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Plans for the £1m Town Centre Fund

by Gemma Melling

Following the announcement by the Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, that Knowsley had secured £1m from his Town Centre Fund, plans have now been developed regarding how the fund will be used.

The funding will be used in Huyton and Prescot town centres. Kirkby town centre has recently benefitted from a £43.8m investment boost by Knowsley Council which includes a £10m contribution from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.  Construction of the new retail development in Kirkby now underway.

To further support the plans to rejuvenate Huyton and Prescot, attract more residents, visitors and businesses and support the town centres to be thriving and vibrant, plans include:

  • Tailored business support and training to support independent businesses in the town centres.
  • Provide digital payment technology (card readers) to independent businesses.
  • Shop front improvements in both town centres.
  • Supporting events to be hosted in the town centres including the development of a programme of seasonal events (in Huyton) and improving infrastructure to host events (in Prescot).
  • A time ball and clock face will be installed at the Flat Iron Building in Prescot, further symbolising Prescot’s rich watchmaking history. The time ball will descend at key times of the day and the historic clock mechanism (made in Prescot in 1811) will be visible. The Time Ball was first used in 1833. Normally each day, at 12.55, the time ball rises half way up its mast. At 12.58 it rises all the way to the top and at 13.00 exactly, the ball falls.
  • Trialling creative uses of a large vacant shop unit in Huyton with a pop-up cinema, managed office space and a maker space all planned.
  • Lighting will be used to enhance your welcome into Huyton at key gateway locations.

The plans will be implemented over the next 18 months.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and Cllr Graham Morgan at the site of the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said “This is great news for our town centres and local businesses. We all want our town centres to be thriving and we are doing all we can to support our local businesses and attract more visitors into our town centres. This funding will help to support this priority and I look forward to seeing the plans now start to be implemented.”

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram added: “When I was elected, I promised that no area in our region would be left behind. It’s thanks to devolution that we’re able to invest in our town centres, which have often been long-neglected by the private sector.

“I want this fund to help support Graham and Knowsley Council in their plans to revitalise our town centres and ensure that they are able to succeed moving forward.”