Home Business and economy Update on Huyton Village Centre’s plans

Update on Huyton Village Centre’s plans

by Jonathan Kearney

Knowsley Council has an ambitious ten year development plan for Huyton Village Centre.

Whilst the pace of progress is slower than we wished for, due to the Government rejecting the Council’s Levelling Up funding bid, there is still plenty of work going on with plans for more to come. The Council is also actively pursuing alternative funding streams to accelerate the delivery of the plan and will be also be applying for Round 2 for the Levelling Up Fund.

Two major development sites in the village centre are in the process of being primed for development. Both The Venue and the Council’s Yorkon Building have been demolished and the land is being prepared for development.

Landlords in the village centre are reporting that there has been a high level of interest from potential retailers to occupy units in Cavendish Walk. These enquiries are being followed up and hopefully announcements will be made as these discussions progress. The Council and private sector landlords are also continuing to promote Huyton Village Centre to retailers – independent and high street brands.

MAKE CIC has been confirmed as the Maker Space Operator and they will take over two empty buildings in Huyton Village Centre with a view to encouraging and supporting new business start-ups and the spaces thriving as people and organisations share their knowledge and experience with others. It is hoped that this will be operational over the coming months.

Huyton is also fast establishing it’s evening economy offering a broad range of cuisines with more announcements to come as two more empty units are being transformed into new eateries.

As well as attracting more retailers, businesses and visitors into Huyton Village Centre, the development plan also includes major public realm improvements in the area. Initial design concepts have been developed and they will be shared as part of a public consultation later this year.

Part of the plans also include an engaging events programme which was once again resurrected before Christmas with a Huyton Live event, Artisan Market plus entertainment for children and adults alike.

Knowsley is the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture throughout 2022 and as part of the launch ‘New Dawn’ programme, Submergence is coming to Sherborne Square in Huyton Village Centre. Submergence is a reflective walkthrough experience consisting of thousands of individual points of suspended light. You can see Submergence from Saturday 12 February through to Saturday 26 February from 4pm – 9.30pm every day.

More premises are also due to benefit from the Shop Front Improvement Scheme, which has so far delivered 14 contemporary makeovers. This scheme has helped to attract new businesses coming into Huyton, as well as increasing footfall in the area and also, importantly, creating jobs for local people.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “We are doing all that we can to ensure our town centres are thriving. That’s why we developed our ten year plan for Huyton Village Centre which will transform the area in terms of the retail and leisure offer, facilities and public spaces.

“The development of Huyton Village Centre remains a key priority for the Council. We have had substantial interest from organisations wanting to be our Development Management Partner and accelerate our plans for Huyton. We hope to make an announcement over the coming months on who will help us to deliver our plans.

“In the meantime, we are attracting interest from a range of businesses – retail and hospitality – and we hope these discussions will attract more businesses into Huyton. Retail remains a key focus of the Village Centre and for our future plans.

“Such transformation can’t happen overnight, but we have made significant progress in attracting new businesses, creating more jobs and these plans will continue to progress.

“I’d encourage everyone to support their local town centre, shop local and attend the events we have arranged.”