St Modwen Developments has submitted reworked proposals for a £20m leisure scheme on a 14-acre site in the town centre.
St Modwen has worked with the council since 2004 to put in place a development plan for Skelmersdale. The 2008 masterplan outlined a scheme to develop a new high street and leisure complex, but was not implemented due to the impact of the global financial crisis. A revised and down-scaled plan was approved in 2013 anchored by a foodstore, however market demand for large foodstores slowed and led to St Modwen submitting the latest plans to deliver a mix of retail opportunities.
The plot next to the Nye Bevan swimming pool and Skelmersdale library is earmarked for a mixed-use development including a food store, retail units, a six-screen cinema, restaurants, a pub, and commercial uses. The site incorporates part of the existing town centre square which would be redeveloped.
The proposals were submitted on behalf of St Modwen by Aylward Town Planning.
In the application to West Lancashire Council, the agent said: "The development will help to create linkages across the town centre between the West Lancashire College and the Concourse Shopping Centre, as well as improving links between these uses and the existing Asda store. This will help to develop a sense of place for Skelmersdale, promote linked trips, and make Skelmersdale town centre more attractive to visitors.
"The proposals will help to create an evening economy for Skelmersdale town centre through the provision of a new cinema, restaurants and bars. This will help the town centre compete with other centres in the surrounding area such as Wigan, and will ensure the leisure needs of the local population are met locally."