Developer St Modwen has been selected by Knowsley Council as its partner for the leisure element of Kirkby town centre’s redevelopment.
The regeneration specialist bought the bulk of the town centre from Tesco in 2015 for £35.8m and has instigated a 130,000 sq ft retail-led redevelopment, anchored by a 45,000 sq ft Morrisons.
The former Kirkby library site, on Newtown Gardens, had remained in the council’s ownership, with the library facilities relocating in 2014. The new-build leisure scheme on the site will replace will include a 15,000 sq ft six-screen cinema and three restaurants and bars.
Earlier this year, St Modwen announced that it had a deal in place with Reel Cinemas to anchor the project, making it a strong favourite to win the project.
Paul Batho, projects director for St Modwen, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the development contract for the leisure scheme and look forward to working with the council to bring forward a cinema, restaurants and bars that will complement our existing work to redevelop the town centre.
“The leisure scheme will provide the much needed leisure facilities people in Kirkby have been looking forward to for a number of years.”
Knowsley Council’s regeneration and economic development cabinet member, Cllr Graham Morgan, said: “This is another important step forward in our ambitions to transform Kirkby town centre with high quality leisure and retail developments.
“St Modwen’s proposals will help to revitalise the town centre through a vibrant evening economy, creating hundreds of job opportunities for local people and significantly boosting Knowsley’s economy.”
A planning application is due to be submitted for the leisure scheme once occupiers for the leisure units have been identified, with construction work planned for 2018.
St Modwen has also submitted a planning application to Knowsley Council for the retail phase, which is due to be heard by the council’s planning committee in early November.
More than 250 members of the public attended an event in St Chad’s Parade on 20 October to receive an update on the plans for the retail phase of the development.
Demolition of part of the town centre is already in progress in order to make way for the new developments.
The leisure units are being marketed by joint retail agents Colliers International and Cheetham & Mortimer.