The council is to create a box park on the site of the former Chalon Way multi-storey car park and is on the hunt for an operator ahead of the venue’s planned opening early next year.
Proposed as a meanwhile use, the box park would feature a food and drink offer as well as entertainment space within repurposed shipping containers. Other similar ventures in the North West include Bruntwood’s Hatch on Oxford Road.
“Box parks are venues that bring communities together, providing a space to eat, drink and listen or take part in live entertainment, all under one roof,” St Helens Council said.
Cllr Richard McCauley, cabinet member for regeneration, said the space could provide a “great reason” to encourage people back into the town centre.
“People enjoy spending time with family and friends eating, drinking, people-watching and listening to music and this site could provide the ideal opportunity for this in St Helens, like it has in other parts of the country.
“We said we’d invest in the town centre and that we were determined to make it a place we can be proud of, and we meant it.”
The authority’s plans for a temporary box park on the site follow the demolition of the former car park last year.
St Helens spent a £1m government grant on knocking down the structure to clear the site for future redevelopment as part of the English Cities Fund’s town centre regeneration strategy.
A draft of that strategy, as well as one for Earlstown, is due to be published today before going before the council’s cabinet next week.
Work is also progressing on the business cases for the six projects highlighted in the Town Investment Plan, for which the council successfully secured £25m from Whitehall.
The projects were confirmed and submitted to government last week by the Town Deal Board and have now progressed to the next stage of development.