Council reveals views on future of Kirkby town centre

Michael Hunt

Residents and businesses in Kirkby have called for new retail facilities and a food superstore, following a public consultation by Knowsley Council.

In March, the council launched a two week consultation asking all residents and businesses in the town for their views on the future development of their town.

The council said more than 1,600 responses were submitted by post, online and at public buildings in the town.

This extensive consultation aimed at giving the entire community the opportunity to help shape future plans for the regeneration of the town, following the old government's rejection of the Destination Kirkby proposal late last year. Destination Kirkby was proposed by Tesco and Everton FC and supported by the council.

Cllr Dave Lonergan, Knowsley Council's cabinet member for regeneration, economy and skills, said: "We had a great response to this consultation and found the feedback really useful. We have already shared with partners and the community the key headlines from the consultation, but these latest findings provide a more detailed overview of the comments and opinions expressed.

"The feedback was broad and varied with comments being made on a range of topics relating to the town centre. This included feedback about improving the visual appearance of the town centre, enhancing transport links and increasing the perception of safety in the area.

We have gone through every single comment made and will be working with partners to address this feedback as new plans for the town centre are developed."

Michael Kissman, from Tesco, added: "The consultation exercise carried out by the council has been really useful to us and helped us to really focus our attention on what matters most to the community. The residents' clear focus on retail has obviously been key for us and has helped to further cement our commitment to developing the town.

"Already we have made good progress in looking at future options for Kirkby and will be speaking to the community very soon as we look to develop a new planning application. We will keep residents informed throughout the process and provide further opportunities for consultation as this develops."

The full findings are now being shared with the community and are available on the council website.

Already interim findings released have shown that new retail facilities and a food superstore are the top priority for residents. The council said that the full findings confirm this and also highlight a range of other priorities for the community.

The council also said that within the coming days all homes and businesses will receive a copy of the findings report and additional copies will be made available in public buildings in the town.

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