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Regeneration and Development of Kirkby Town Centre continues

by Jonathan Kearney

Knowsley Council’s ongoing improvement of Kirkby Town Centre is due to take a further step forward over the coming weeks.

Thanks to £2.2m of funding from Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the multi-storey car park – a key gateway into the town – will be refurbished and upgraded into a sustainable travel hub that will include cycle stands, electric vehicle charging, as well as refurbished car parking.

Following completion, the 8-level car park will continue to provide both short- and long-stay spaces including 8 accessible bays and 18 electric charging points.  The car park will also be future-proofed to accommodate more electric vehicle charging facilities and cycle stands as demand increases in the future.

CCTV is also being installed in and around the car park and the lighting will be managed by sensors, ensuring efficient energy use and contributing to the Council’s carbon net zero priority.

The refurbishment will provide a safe and well-lit car park as well as improvements to the external façade.

The plans will also ensure vastly improved access to and from Kirkby Town Centre via Telegraph Way.

All parking in Knowsley Council-owned car parks is currently free of charge, including long-stay car parks (short-stay restrictions are still being enforced).

These improvement works will not only to create a warm welcome into the town, but will also help to retain and attract more businesses and, in turn, create more jobs for local people.  The work will also provide much-needed car and cycle parking to support the adjacent former Barclaycard building (which is currently being advertised to let as office space) with the aim of bringing several hundred jobs back to Kirkby Town Centre.

Work will start on-site from August 2023 and the scheme is due to be completed in early 2024.

Kirkby multi-storey car park will be closed during the refurbishment works, but alternative parking is available on Hall Lane, Cherryfield Drive (long-stay at the rear, maximum three hours short-stay at the front), Irlam Drive, Kirkby Market (a maximum of one hour short-stay), The Kirkby Centre (maximum three hours short-stay), and the new car park in front of Morrisons and Home Bargains (maximum three hours short-stay).

Councillor Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council’s Regeneration and Economic Development Cabinet Member, said: “The £2.2m funding from the Combined Authority has enabled us to accelerate our plans to enhance this area of the town centre and will help to attract further investment – something that is a key priority for us in terms of supporting our growing visitor numbers to the town and securing job opportunities.

“The parking facilities are being upgraded to reflect people’s needs in terms of their transport choices.  That’s why we’ve included cycle stands and electric vehicle charging points, which are also helping to address the current climate change emergency.

“The Multi-Storey Car Park can be many people’s first impression of Kirkby Town Centre, so it’s essential that we create the right image for residents, visitors, businesses and investors alike.

“Independent research has highlighted Kirkby as a big success in terms of recovering from the pandemic and increases in footfall and we want to capitalise on that good progress in recent years.

“Our plans to develop Kirkby Town Centre will continue.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “Kirkby’s revival over the last few years has been a true renaissance and it has been delivered, in no small part, by the power of devolution.

“From the transformation of the town centre to the opening of its first supermarket in nearly 40 years – and the new railway station the Combined Authority is building at Headbolt Lane, we’re making things happen. Having grown up in the area, I know the real, positive difference this investment is having on the Townie – and on people’s lives too: creating local jobs and opportunities and bringing greater prosperity to local residents.”