Sefton Council has approved proposals by Maghull to redevelop Central Square shopping centre in Maghull town centre.
Maghull Group acquired Central Square in 2007 from Mars Pension Fund for £21.25m. Tenants include Boots the Chemist, Superdrug, Waterfields Bakers, Callaghan Butchers, Home Bargains, Bon Marche, HSBC and Lloyds TSB.
The application by Maghull subsidiary Maghull Investments (Maghull Town Centre) proposes the redevelopment of nine existing retail units to create 26,400 sq ft of retail space and the addition of a further 70 car parking spaces.
A pay-and-display fee regime will be introduced after a two hour stay in the car park. Maghull says this will prevent users parking all day which is detrimental to retailers' trade.
Michael Hanlon, chief executive of the Maghull Group, said: "Central Square's previous owners had not invested in the fabric of the town centre for more than 20 years, so there's a very clear need to upgrade the centre and improve the facilities for both the tenants and their customers.
"We intend to revitalise Central Square by providing new larger retail units which will satisfy the needs of national retailers who wish to be represented in Maghull. We will also work closely with those independent retailers such as Callaghan's butchers, who provide a first class local offer, to ensure they can continue to trade in the square for the next 20 years.
"At present, the shortage of car parking is affecting trade, with the majority of spaces being occupied throughout the day by staff rather than shoppers. By introducing a car park management system and providing separate parking for staff, we'll be able to give shoppers much easier access to the centre and expect to generate an increase in footfall and trade."
The first phase of the works, on the car park and public realm, will start in the summer. The second phase of work, which involves the redevelopment of the retail units, will begin in summer 2012 when current tenants' leases expire. The programme of works will last for 12 months.