Demolition kicks off at Kirkby cinema development

Three buildings in Kirkby town centre, including its former library and Webster House, are due to be demolished by the end of the year to make way for a cinema-led leisure development.

Demolition firm JP Tisdale has been chosen by Knowsley Council to carry out the works, which include knocking down the library, Webster House, and a building at 149 Cherryfield Drive.

The demolition of the library, which has been vacant since services relocated to the £5m Kirkby Centre on Norwich Way, will clear the site for the cinema, which is being brought forward by St Modwen.

Plans include a Reel cinema, which signed a pre-let last year, and three bar and restaurant units. St Modwen is aiming to submit an application for the scheme in the summer.

Tisdale’s demolition of Webster House and 149 Cherryfield Drive will also free up more land for further projects, with the council now seeking a developer for both sites. It is understood the council will gauge interest from developers before deciding what will be built on either site.

Leader of Knowsley Council, Cllr Andy Moorhead, said: “Our plan to demolish three empty buildings to make way for new developments is another positive step forward in the Kirkby town centre regeneration programme.

“These are key sites in the heart of the town centre and removing unused, unattractive buildings allows us to identify developers who can really enhance what Kirkby has to offer.

“I’m delighted that we already have plans in the pipeline for St. Modwen to deliver a cinema, bars and restaurants on the former library site and I look forward to seeing proposals for more high quality developments on the other two sites.”

Tisdale has been on site since August last year carrying out works on other neighbouring buildings, including the former In Shops market, Gala Bingo hall, and the site of the former Asda to make way for a retail-led scheme, also developed by St Modwen.

This includes 45,000 sq ft Morrisons supermarket; a petrol station; and 13 retail units totalling nearly 76,000 sq ft. The developer purchased the site from Tesco in 2015 for £35.8m.

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