Morrisons is set to open a 45,000 sq ft supermarket in Kirkby town centre, within St Modwen’s 130,000 sq ft retail development.
A revised planning application will be submitted to Knowsley Council to update existing proposals, reflecting the specific requirements of Morrisons. The supermarket will be built on a bigger site than proposed in St Modwen’s previous planning application, which was 39,300 sq ft.
The supermarket will have around 200 staff and a 450-space car park will be provided for shoppers in front of the store and neighbouring large retail units.
St Modwen purchased the town centre in 2015 from Tesco for £35.8m, and with an anchor confirmed it will begin discussions with national retailers interested in occupying the new shops being created.
Paul Batho, projects director at St Modwen, said: “Morrisons will enhance the range of shopping available in Kirkby and meets the needs of local people. It will boost the local economy, creating new jobs during construction and in the supermarket when it opens, as well as bringing more shoppers and other local businesses to the town.”
Morrisons’ senior property manager, Richard Bakes, said: “We’re really pleased to be involved with this important development for Kirkby and will work closely with Knowsley Council and St Modwen to deliver the new store. This is the first step in the planning process and we look forward to creating hundreds of local jobs and serving the Kirkby community.”
Work is now underway to demolish 150,000 sq ft of derelict buildings, including the Gala Bingo hall and the former Asda site. The cleared site will make way for the Morrisons, large shop units, and a pedestrian walkway that will link the existing town centre with the new development and additional car parking.
Subject to the determination of the planning application, construction should start early next year with completion scheduled for 2019. Land south of Cherryfield Drive, facing onto Newtown Gardens, would be used as a temporary car park during construction.
St Modwen says that the redevelopment will complement the existing town centre shops and include improved pedestrian links, car parking, new public realm and landscaping. St Modwen has also signed an agreement with Reel Cinemas, which is set to be built on the site of the former library on Newtown Gardens as part of the leisure element.
Colliers International and Cheetham & Mortimer are the agents working with St Modwen in Kirkby.